India may stop importing Ethiopia’s pulse product

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photo: Anteneh Aklilu

India, which imports 30 percent of Ethiopia’s pulse products may halt imports because Ethiopia has not fumigated the pulses.
India gave six months for Ethiopia to fumigate its pulses, a deadline which expired yesterday Saturday June 30, and India has stated they will not import any more pulse products until the matter is dealt with.
Ethiopia stands to lose up to USD 80 million a year if India stops importing pulses. Fumigation is a method of pest control that completely fills an area with gaseous pesticides to suffocate or poison the pests. It is used to control pests in  soil, grain, and produce, and is also used during processing of goods to be imported or exported to prevent transfer of exotic organisms.
India said it doesn’t want to spend additional money on chemicals and human labor to fumigate the pulses.  White and red beans, chick peas, horn beans, green mung beans and soya beans are the major pulse products India imports from Ethiopia.
The Ministry of Trade who had a meeting with pulse and oilseeds exporters last Thursday at Capital Hotel warned the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to start the fumigation process very soon.
In the last eleven months Ethiopia exported 402,000 tons of pulses and earned USD 402 million, they had plans to export 568,704 tons and earn USD 423 million.
India imported about 6 million tons of pulses last year from different countries.
In other news 8,730 tons of sesame were exported illegally over the last eleven years which caused the country to lose over two billion birr. The Ministry of Trade also announced that it has received over 63,403 tons of sesame in stores where the exporters, suppliers and producers had horded the product to get a better price in the future. It stated also that some exporters sold the product below the international market price to get dollars quickly.
Melaku Alebel, Minister of Trade said exporters should work harder to bring more quality products to the market.
“The reason we are failing to fill the gap of hard currency demand is our weak performance in export and if we do not export more we cannot get dollars which ultimately causes trouble for out investments.’’
However, exporters said the government should make it easier to get loans.