A press release issued by Ministry of National Food Security and Research on Thursday said that Russia’s decision on lifting the import of rice from Pakistan from 11 June 2021 is based on implementation of Department of Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine Division phytosanitary guidance document.
It further said that the Deputy Director Technical Quarantine of DPP Sohail Shahzad had been negotiating with Russia for the past year for lifting of ban on import of rice from Pakistan. Russia had carried out inspection in February, 2020.
Ministry of National Food Security and Research has also provided Russia all requisite technical information, assurances on Pakistan Plant Quarantine system, pest surveillance and control programme in rice-growing areas and rice establishments.
In 2019, Russia had put a temporary ban on import of rice from Pakistan claiming that khapra beetle was found in a batch of rice. This came as a surprise as the consignment was duly cleared by the Department of Plant Protection, which issues sanitary and phytosanitary certificates to each grain consignment moving outside of Pakistan.
Russian had then asked for information on measures taken to prevent the proliferation of the beetle in products supplied to Russia and information about zones in Pakistan free from the beetle.
Initially, four rice establishments — two from Karachi, one from Lahore and one from Chiniot — have been approved by NPPO Russia for import of rice from Pakistan.
The permission to other rice units shall be subject to virtual verification by the plant quarantine division of DPP.
Efforts of Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, Ghufran Memon, Secretary Ministry, Allah Ditta Abid Director General, Muhammad Sohail Shahzad Director Technical Quarantine and Nasir Hameed Trade Minister Embassy of Pakistan in Russia have been lauded by the local farming community and industry for taking up the matter with the Russian authorities.