USDA drafts PRA for Indian table grape imports
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released a draft pest risk assessment for the Indian Government's request to allow table grape imports.
APHIS has drafted a pathway-initiated risk assessment for the request, with the comment period open until Dec. 3, 2016.
"Based on the market access request submitted by India, we considered the pathway to include the following processes and conditions: hand harvesting, sorting, sizing, and cooling for shipment," the document said.
APHIS said it had identified 22 pests present in India with a 'reasonable likelihood' of being associated with grape imports, of which eight did not pose risks to the U.S. agricultural industry.
"The remaining 14 organisms met the threshold for unacceptable consequences of introduction and had a non-negligible likelihood of introduction. We therefore consider these pests to be candidates for risk management," APHIS said.
"Detailed examination and choice of appropriate phytosanitary measures to mitigate pest risk are part of the pest risk management phase within APHIS and are not addressed in this document."
Among the 14 organisms are arthropods Tenuipalpus granati and Scirtothrips dorsalis, and the fungus Monilinia fructigena.
Last season India exported around 192,000 metric tons (MT) of table grapes, with the fruit being shipped to 94 markets, according to local media Financialexpress.com.
The publication reported All Indian Grape Exporters Association president Jagannath Khapre believes the next season will see even higher volumes.