Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
24-July-2019 18:19 IST
Export of Cardamom

The Government of Saudi Arabia and Japan have not banned import of cardamom from India. However, Saudi Arabia Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) had detained   four import consignments of cardamom (small) from India due to the detection of pesticide residue above the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) specified by the SFDAin  April-May 2018. Thereafter, the exporters have voluntarily stopped export of cardamom to Saudi Arabia, fearing detention due to pesticide residue.

The Government, through the Spices Board, is conducting a series of campaigns in the cardamom growing areas in India to popularize the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in cardamom among the cardamom growers and also promote the use of bio-control agents for managing pests and diseases in cardamom.

Saudi Arabia Foreign Ministry vide Note Verbale dated 9/10/2018 requested the Indian side to provide accreditation details of the laboratories where tests are undertaken for pesticide residues in cardamom before exporting to Saudi Arabia and the list of leading  exporters and establishments exporting cardamom to Saudi Arabia, which were provided through  the Indian Embassy at Riyadh  on 9th August, 2018 by the Spices Board. It was also requested to enclose Laboratory Analysis Certificate confirming MRL compliance specified by the SFDA issued by the Spices Board for pesticide residues in cardamom with each export consignment of cardamom. To comply with this requirement of SFDA, the list of pesticides tested by SFDA in respect of small cardamom has been obtained. Out of 41 pesticides tested by SFDA, Spices Board’s Quality Evaluation Laboratory at Kochi has standardized 27 pesticides for testing and the remaining pesticides are being standardized.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) had visited Spices Board's Quality Evaluation Laboratory in Kochi, spices export processing units and cardamom plantation in December, 2018 and had discussion with the Spices Board's officials. The delegation requested the Board to send the details of pesticides used in cardamom by the   Indian farmers so that testing can be done for the same pesticides in cardamom before exporting to Saudi Arabia. The details were provided to the SFDA through the Indian Embassy on 19th February, 2019. The Spices Board has been advised to draw up a work plan immediately to address the issue of pesticide residue in cardamom to resume the export of cardamom to Saudi Arabia.               

This information was given by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.