India bars entry of ginger from NepalIndia has barred the entry of Nepali ginger, and Indian customs officials have been stopping shipments at the border even though all the paperwork is in order, traders said.
India has barred the entry of Nepali ginger, and Indian customs officials have been stopping shipments at the border even though all the paperwork is in order, traders said.
Nearly 26 tonnes of ginger dispatched by Alam Traders of Nepalgunj to Ranu Traders in Lucknow, India have been sent back by Indian customs.
Alam Traders had waited for four days for customs clearance but was eventually refused permission. Traders said that they had obtained Indian road and export permits, adding that the sudden change in Indian policy was surprising.
“There were no restrictions on exports last year, and the policy shift at the beginning of this year has come as a surprise decision for us,” said Tanka Prasad Sharma, general secretary of the Nepal Herbs Traders Committee.
“We have fulfilled all the documentation procedures but have been barred from sending our consignment to India. The Indian officials have not told us why the restrictions are being applied.”
More than 10,000 tonnes of ginger are exported through the Nepalgunj border point annually. Last year, ginger exports were worth Rs6.36 million, according to the Nepalgunj Customs Office.
The export ban could affect a large number of farmers in the mid-western hill districts.
Ginger farming is one of the major income sources for farmers in the hills. However, exports of the spicy root are being permitted through the Bhairahawa border point.
Dang, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Salyan and Surkhet are the major ginger producing districts in the Mid-Western Region.
“Hundreds of farmers will be affected if ginger exports are barred,” said Pappu Kuresi, a local trader. “There is no reason to impose restrictions as all the formalities have been fulfilled.”
According to Krishna Prasad Shrestha, president of the Nepalgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nepali traders have the right to import and export without any hassles or restrictions. “We have been discussing the matter at a higher level but the problem has not been sorted out,” he said.
India is the major market for Nepali ginger. In the first five months of this fiscal year, Nepal exported 12,133 tonnes of ginger valued at Rs198.36 million.
Shipments totalled 24,548 tonnes worth Rs464.90 million in the last fiscal year, according to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre.