Following the ban of Alphonso mangoes in the European market from India, the latest horticultural produce to come under the scanner is Piper betle, more commonly known as betel leaves. The export of Betel leaves to the EU alone generates an annual revenue of Rs 300-400 lakh.
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has issued an advisory on July 3, stating that there are reports of the likelihood of betel leaves becoming the next product to be banned by the European Union (EU) since several rapid alerts have been reported. The prime reason for this ban, says APEDA, appears to be the detection of Salmonella in the produce.
Vinod Kumar Kaul, deputy General Manager, APEDA, has therefore cautioned exporters to immediately stop the export of betel leaves unless the consignment is tested through APEDA recognized laboratories confirming their compliance with the EU norms.
This incident brings to light the practices that are being carried out in India and the need to create awareness about good agricultural practices amongst farmers.