Certain countries have temporarily suspended import of fruits and vegetables from Kerala following the outbreak of Nipah virus in May and the government is taking steps to get the suspension lifted, Parliament was informed today.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary said that there is no general restriction on the fruits and vegetables being exported to Gulf countries from India. “However, some countries have temporarily suspended imports from the State of Kerala due to occurrence of NIPAH virus during May 2018. The government is taking all possible steps to get this suspension lifted at the earliest,” he said.
Seventeen people died due to the Nipah virus in Kerala, out of which 16 were lab confirmed cases. Replying to a separate question on tea, he said 2017-18 has seen a record production of tea at 1,325.05 million Kg as compared to 1,250.49 million Kg during 2016-17.
“The increase in production is attributed to favourable weather condition,” the minister said. He also said that fiscal year 2017-18 has seen a record export of tea from India at 256.57 million Kgs, as compared to 227.63 million kgs in the previous fiscal.
“The increase in export is attributed to lesser supply of CTC teas by Kenya to the important CTC tea markets of Egypt, Pakistan, China, UAE and Poland,” he said.