China agrees to import rice from India subject to conditions

The Indian department of agriculture will ensure that the rice exported is free of six identified pests which are of concern to China

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New Delhi: The recently held SCO Summit at Qingdao in China has led to few favourable outcomes for India and the host country. The two sides concluded key pacts on hydrological data sharing and agricultural exports in the presence of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Chinese President, Xi Jinping who had discussed the issues when they had met earlier in Wuhan.

The two pacts signed following the meeting that reviewed the implementation of decisions arrived at in Wuhan symbolises concrete steps forward between span of six weeks. Modi had travelled to Wuhan on April 27.

The two sides signed a pact for rice exports to China from India that would contribute to reducing the trade deficit. A Protocol between General Administration of Customs of China and the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Famers Welfare of India on Phytosanitary requirements for Exporting rice from India to China was signed.

The 2006 Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Exporting Rice from India to China has been amended to include the export of non-Basmati varieties of rice.

Under the protocol, Indian rice exported to China would have to comply with Chinese quarantine laws and regulations. The Indian department of agriculture will ensure that the rice exported is free of six identified pests which are of concern to China. Each batch of rice which is being exported has to be accompanied by a certificate issued by the agriculture ministry saying that it complies with China’s phytosanitary requirements.

The certificate would also give the place of origin of rice in India. The department of agriculture, cooperation and farmer welfare under the ministry of agriculture would ensure the required phytosanitary conditions during storage and processing. Such conditions are to be ensured during the rice plantation.

The protocol will remain in force for three years.

Also, the Memorandum of understanding signed at the Meet between Ministry of Water Resources of the two countries enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data in flood season from 15th May to 15th October every year. The MoU also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data if water level exceeds mutually agreed level during non-flood season.