Canada’s producers of peas and lentils are preparing for the possibility that their largest market may soon shut down imports because of a purported problem with pests.
For more than 10 years, India has allowed Canada to treat pulse shipments for pests after shipping rather than before shipping. This may come to an end next month.
The fumigation of pulse pests requires the use of methyl bromide, a pesticide that Canada is trying to phase out because of concerns it depletes the ozone layer. It also doesn’t work well in Canada’s colder temperatures, leaving pulse producers with few options.
Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada said the federal government submitted documents to India in December pressing its case that the risks of Canadian pulse crops carrying pests is minimal because of the winter climate.
He said,”India’s message has become much more firm in terms of what their intention is at the end of March, which is why we’re much more concerned now.”
A notice issued by the India Pulses and Grains Association stated
methyl bromide is the only effective treatment against pulse pests, Indian exporters follow requirements of other countries and importers should do the same, and India shouldn’t bear the risks to the ozone layer alone.