Pesticide residue testing facility at customs points possible only after a year: Minister Khanal

Published On: July 8, 2019 07:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 8: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal has said that it would take at least one year to install pesticide residue lab testing facilities at customs points.

Responding to the queries of NC lawmakers during the discussion session on Appropriation Bill-2076 BS in National Assembly on Sunday, Minister Khanal said that it is possible to start the integrated lab test facilities of the vegetables and fruits at all customs points only after a year.

“It has been said that the infrastructure would be completed within six months. However, it is not possible to start work as we will have to go through a very lengthy procurement process. The estimated budget, for now, is Rs 4 billion to establish the lab facilities. 

We have requested the Finance Ministry and it would take at least nine months to complete the whole procurement process,” he said.

Currently, Nepal has pesticide testing machines in Birtamod (Jhapa), Sarlahi, Kathmandu, Pokhara (Kaski), Butwal (Rupandehi), Nepalgunj (Banke) and Attariya (Kailali). But they are not well-equipped and it takes hours for customs officials to test pesticides in vegetables and fruits.

The government on June 17 had directed its customs authorities to test the level of pesticides before allowing vegetables and fruits coming in from India as well third countries. But it revoked the decision allegedly under Indian pressure on Thursday, citing lack of necessary infrastructures at customs points.

Leave A Comment