Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) has notified that due to high content of pesticide residues, the temporary ban on import of fresh vegetables – cauliflower, beans and green chillies will continue.

BAFRA first banned the import of these vegetables in May 2016.

According to the notification, during the past two years of ban, BAFRA has been monitoring the pesticide residues in these vegetables using Rapid Test Kits and periodically carrying out laboratory tests outside the country.

BAFRA stated that the test results of the three vegetables, generated over the past two years, consistently show pesticide residues above MRL (Maximum Residue Limit).

“As such, the ban on import of these three vegetables is continued until further notice. This is issued in the interest of ublic health and safety. All concerned are requested to extend their full cooperation and support in implementing the ban,” it states.

Chief of agriculture production division with BAFRA, Tashi Wangdi, said that the supply of local vegetables has improved although the country faced some shortages during the initial period of the ban.

“The problem is only with chillies and we have made extra investments in winter chillies,” he said, adding that the production and supply of the other vegetables has been good.

Staff reporter