Muscat: Top officials from the Sultanate and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met to discuss the import ban imposed by the Emirates on Omani vegetables and fruits, the Agriculture Ministry announced.
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Dr. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Bakri, undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries met Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the ambassador of the UAE to the Sultanate, regarding the ban on some Omani farm products as they were found to exceed the limit on pesticide residue.
The UAE government announced recently that pesticide levels in imported melons, watercress and carrots from Oman were found to be above the permissible limits, and imposed a ban, which will commence on May 15.
On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, the meeting was conducted to discuss the details behind the ban, and to obtain the sources of the samples that had been analysed for pesticide residue.
Al Bakri clarified in the meeting that there has been continuous coordination between the two Ministries since 2010, to share recorded results of pesticide residue.
Procedures in accordance with these results had been applied to farms, including laws on farm quarantine and pesticide use.
The ambassador was also briefed the minister on the list of restricted and banned pesticides that have been agreed upon by the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, in accordance with the Standard Pesticides Law.
Al Suwaidi discussed the procedures for registration of pesticides and laboratory tests in place in the Sultanate.
The ambassador said he would convey the ministry’s view to the Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the UAE, regarding the continuity of cooperation between the two countries to ensure the safety and quality of farm products exported and imported between the GCC countries.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Oman had released a statement on Tuesday following the ban, stating that during recent tests, 98 per cent of Omani produce conformed to internationally permissible limits.
The ministry also revealed that a recent tender had been published for the creation of a Central Laboratory for Plant Health, “to control the quality and safety of agricultural products.”