India: Kerala exporters seek government help in lifting Saudi ban

Exporters of fruits and vegetables from the Indian state of Kerala have appealed to the central government seeking help in Saudi Arabia lifting ban on imports of their fruits and vegetables. The ban was imposed by the Gulf state about eight months ago, due to the Nipah virus outbreak.

“Farmers and exporters have incurred huge amount of losses as Saudi Arabia is one of the major export market for fruits and vegetables from Kerala, which also offers good remuneration for the produce,'' explained Anil George, GM, Sealine Impex. “Due to the drop in exports, farmers have to depend entirely on domestic market for trading which won’t fetch them the desired gains.”

Commenting on the scenario in Kerala, V Venugopal, president of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a premier trade body in Kerala, stated: “We have appealed to Saudi Arabia government to lift the ban on Kerala, as the Kerala government has taken very effective steps to control the Nipah virus. If exports do not resume soon, the fruit and vegetable market will be very badly impacted.”

He added: “We have also requested Government of India and Kerala government to intervene in the issue as it is not only a loss for local farmers, but for people in the country.”


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