Indian Market Access, Plant Quarantine Center for Bhutanese Agri Products
21 October 2020
The Government of India has granted market access to five agricultural products from Bhutan. A plant quarantine center was also set up in Jaigaon, India, to ease India-Bhutan cross-border trade of agricultural goods.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of the Government of India issued the notification giving Indian market access to Bhutan’s areca nut, mandarin, apple, potato, and ginger on 14 October 2020 under the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order 2003. The notice came into immediate effect, according to DNAIndia. Indian market access of these Bhutanese products promises to increase trade between the two countries.
Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, called the development, "a key commitment to grow our bilateral trade."
A statement by the Indian mission in Bhutan highlighted that the decision to allow market access for these agricultural commodities was arrived at after detailed deliberation. The statement shared by DNAIndia underscored the exceptionally close and friendly ties between India and Bhutan, including on matters of trade and commerce.
On the Bhutanese side, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of the Government of Bhutan has allowed the import of tomato, onion, and okra from India under the Plant Quarantine Rules and Regulations of Bhutan 2018. The decision followed talks between the National Plant Protection Organization of the Government of India, the Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority of the Government of Bhutan, and the Embassy of India in Bhutan.
India Sets Up Jaigaon Plant Quarantine for Bhutan
On 21 October 2020, India opened a plant quarantine center at Jaigaon, India. Jaigaon is one of the key cities in the border trade between the two countries. Ms. Kamboj shared the news on Twitter, saying, “Happy to add that a new Plant Quarantine Centre at Jaigaon is now operational- a 1st on the India-Bhutan border! Step forward as we boost our partnerships and further bilateral agri-trade.” Previously, Bhutanese agri-traders had to wait for a plant quarantine officer from Panitanki on the India-Nepal border to visit Jaigaon for clearance of their agri-exports to India, according to DNA India.