6 Feb 2024 13:25

India begins supplying bananas to Russia, plans to import other fruit - Rosselkhoznadzor

MOSCOW. Feb 6 (Interfax) - India has begun supplying bananas to Russia, and the first shipment was sent in January this year, Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) said following negotiations with representatives of the plant protection, quarantine and storage department of the Agriculture Ministry and Farmers Welfare of India, during which they discussed issues related to the supply of fruit from India to Russia.

"The matter of access to Indian fruit, in particular bananas, has been discussed by the parties for several years. The Indian colleagues have noted that the result of joint work was the shipment of the first consignment of bananas from India to Russia in January 2024, and the next delivery is planned by the end of February. Further volumes of Indian exports bananas to the Russian market will increase," according to the statement.

The Rosselkhoznadzor press service told Interfax that the estimated volume of the banana shipment from India is about 3,000 tonnes. It is still in transit. "The Indian side reported readiness to increase the supply of bananas as the volume of their production allows for this," the press service said.

Rosselkhoznadzor confirmed that there are currently no restrictions on imports of fruit and vegetables from India to Russia; Indian fruit can be freely supplied to the Russian territory, accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate confirming the absence of quarantine organisms in goods in accordance with the legislation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

The Indian side during the negotiations expressed interest in expanding the range of fruit supplies, according to the report. In addition to bananas, this also involves mangoes, pineapples, papaya, and guava. In the near future, the country will send to Rosselkhoznadzor a list of fruit planned for export to Russia. In turn, Rosselkhoznadzor will transfer phytosanitary requirements for the products to the Indian side.

According to FAO data cited by Rosselkhoznadzor, India is the largest banana producer in the world, with the country growing 33 million tonnes in 2023. China is in second place at 12 million tonnes, and Indonesia is in third place at 8.7 million tonnes.

As reported, Ecuador is one of the largest suppliers of bananas to Russia, with 1.3 million tonnes imported in 2023. However, owing to the identification of a dangerous quarantine pest, the polyphagous humpback fly, for Russia and the EAEU countries, Rosselkhoznadzor has asked Ecuador's responsible agency to suspend supplies of bananas from five exporters as of February 5.

"The suspension of certification is the responsibility of the Ecuadorian side, and the Ecuadorian exporter will not be able to ship its products without a certificate," the press service of Rosselkhoznadzor told Interfax.