Pesticide testing of fruits and vegetables started at seven border points
October 27, 2021 12:09 PM NPT
By: Dilip Poudel
KATHMANDU, Oct 27: The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) has started testing residues of pesticides at seven border points to ensure whether the vegetables and fruits imported from India are edible or not.
The department has set up laboratories near the border in Kakarvitta, Biratnagar, Jaleshwar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi connecting the two countries. The department has made arrangements for testing near seven customs offices. Testing has been started through the Food Import Export Quality Certification Office.
The DFTQC has stated that pesticide testing has been started in the border areas to make arrangements for the general consumers to make available and consume quality vegetables and fruits as per the provisions of the Food Act.
Dr Matina Joshi Vaidya, director general of the DFTQC, said that the first phase was started from seven checkpoints and in the second phase, it is being prepared to test the imported vegetables and fruits at five more checkpoints. “We are planning to arrange testing locations at 12 places and have demanded an additional budget from the Ministry of Finance.”
Spokesperson for the department, Mohan Krishna Marhajan said that the imported fruits and veggies will be allowed into the country only after the department tests the pesticide residue in the products. The department has stated that it has made arrangements to issue test reports in half an hour.
As the toxic residue check is linked to human health, there was a growing need to increase the scope of testing. Fresh vegetables and fruits in the country's largest Kalimati fruit and vegetable market are also tested for pesticides. By collecting samples from the vegetables being sold in the market, the pesticide residue is tested to see if it is less or more than the prescribed criteria.