(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has clarified that it has not imposed any ban on import of mangoes from India. The ministry's clarification comes after the European Union (EU) banned Indian mangoes saying they are not specially treated to reduce the risk of fruit fly infestation.
The ban was imposed by EU's department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) last Thursday. According to a senior MoAF official, the fruit fly as such poses no risk to consumers. But the fruit can affect one's health if a fly has laid eggs inside it and has completed its life cycle inside by feeding on it.
Another official in the ministry said that Oman imports large quantities of mangoes from South Asian countries such as India and Pakistan. But they are examined and scrutinised for quality. To ensure that the fruits are free of harmful elements, the ministry has also started insisting on quality assurance documents from concerned authorities of exporting countries.
He further said that any decision on banning the fruit will be taken only after conducting necessary trials and studies.
Besides, bilateral talks and discussions also will be initiated before such a decision is taken.
Meanwhile, K P Ismail, a leading wholesale merchant of fruits and vegetables in Oman, ruled out any drop in the sale of Indian mangoes in the sultanate as a result of the EU ban.
''Earlier, prices of Indian mangoes were quoted above RO1 per kilogram. But increased supply in the market has brought down the price to around 900bz at the Mawaleh Central Market.'' Indian varieties Alphonso and Badami are the most popular in Oman.