India Region

Concerns Arise Over Smuggling of Chinese Garlic into India as Customs Heightens Vigilance

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06 April 2024, New Delhi: Authorities in India have raised an alarm following the discovery of a substantial amount of smuggled Chinese garlic in the country. To combat this issue, customs officials have intensified surveillance at land customs posts, employing sniffer dogs and coordinating with local intelligence agencies to prevent smuggling through neighboring nations such as Nepal and Bangladesh.

A customs official has reported an increase in smuggling cases, particularly in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and the Northeast regions, where garlic is illicitly brought in via Nepal. Chinese garlic imports have been banned since 2014 due to concerns over the entry of fungus-infested garlic into the country. Furthermore, there are apprehensions that the smuggled garlic may be contaminated with high levels of pesticides. Recent seizures include a significant haul of 64,000 kg valued at Rs 1.35 crore at the Sikta land customs post.

The surge in the smuggling of Chinese garlic is attributed to a price hike in the domestic market and a sharp rise in exports. Industry experts estimate that there is a stockpile of 1,000-1,200 tonnes of Chinese garlic in India, with prices nearly doubling since November, reaching Rs 450-500 per kg. Local traders have expressed concerns about the influx of Chinese garlic, prompting government intervention.

Both India and China are major garlic producers. India has witnessed an increased demand for its garlic, particularly post-Covid-19, from countries such as the US, West Asia, Brazil, and Asia.

In the fiscal year 2022-23, India exported 57,346 tonnes of garlic valued at Rs 246 crore, with significant exports reaching 56,823 tonnes valued at Rs 277 crore during the April-September period, according to the Spices Board.

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(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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