Government checks influx of harmful agro commodities from Iran

KARACHI: The Ministry of National Food Security & Research has taken strict note of influx of agro commodities from Iran in violation of Pakistan Plant Quarantine Act, 1976 posing threat to country’s human, animal and plant life.

The ministry in a letter to Government of Baluchistan notes scores of commodities without phytosanitary measures and phytosanitary certification are being entered in Pakistan from Iran, Afghanistan and other middle eastern countries.

“Thus, their entry is posing high bio-security risk to our domestic agriculture and environment for the reason, many insect and pests and diseases may be associated with them and resultantly, day by day, our international trading partners seem hesitant to import agricultural commodities from Pakistan due to growing addition of pest issues in Pakistan,” the letter said.

Department of Plant Protection has recently posted a technical authorized officer at Taftan entry/exit point to prevent entry and intercept agricultural commodities intend to enter without pytosanitary certification.

The ministry has advised the provincial government to look into the matter and issue directives to the Frontier Corps, Levies and Customs to ensure Phytosanitary documents clearance before the entry of the goods in Pakistan.

Being an agricultural-based economy, the agricultural productivity in Pakistan is linked directly or in directly with overall economic performance of the country. Like the other vigilant nations of the world, Pakistan is also signatory to the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures to protect human, animal and plant life.

Recently most of the trade activities between Pakistan and Iran have been routed through Taflan and Turbat border areas.

If the phytosanitary regulations are not complied with the country is predisposed to being attacked by pests and diseases associated with unprocessed food/raw plant material.

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