Indian law requires shippers to fumigate crops with methyl bromide in the country of origin.
Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, have confirmed India has issued a three-month extension to its call for Canadian pulse exports to be fumigated prior to arriving in the country.
Exports on or before the end of September will not require fumigation in Canada.
According to Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada, this means exports will not be subject to a penalty of five-times the normal fumigation fee that is in place for some other originations of pulse exports to India.
Shipments, though, must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Keeping the pulse on pests
Canada is trying to phase out the use of methyl bromide because it is classified as an ozone-depleting substance and it isn’t effective in cold temperatures.
But as one of its largest suppliers of pulses, the Indian government has granted the exporter a series of exemptions over the mandatory fumigation rule since 2004.
The country imported over $1.1bn of pulses from Canada in 2016.
India may be the largest producer of pulses in the world - production is expected to rise by 35% to 22.14 million tons this year – but it is also the largest consumer and has been unable to meet its own demand since the 1970s.
Pulses are a major source of protein and either split or made into flour. These flours are an important ingredient used in the preparation of snack foods in India, which are fast growing in popularity.
Canadian pulses are often used instead of higher priced Indian-produced pulses, a high criterion among India’s lower-income groups.
Canadian yellow peas, for example, are much cheaper than the domestically-grown desi chickpeas, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.