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After lifting of ban, Philippines eyes hike in Manila hemp export to India.

The country is eyeing to increase its abaca shipments to India after the South Asian country lifted the import ban on Manila hemp after laboratory results showed that earlier exports were free of disease, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFida) said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, PhilFida Executive Director Kennedy T. Costales announced that India has formally lifted the import ban on Philippines which stemmed from shipments that were allegedly affected by Moko disease.

India's Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage Director Rajesh Malik wrote to Bureau of Plant Industry OIC-Director George Y. Culaste to convey the lifting of the ban.

At present, the country exports an average 100 metric ton (MT) of abaca to India, Costales said.

'But with this recent development, we expect import from the India's rope factories will slowly rise in the years ahead,' he told the BusinessMirror in a separate interview.

In his letter dated July 25, Malik said the pest risk analysis conducted on Manila hemp were redone and yielded negative results on the presence of Ralstonia solanacearum Race 2.

Malik added that the Philippines would be required to certify future abaca shipments that they are free from Moko wilt Ralstonia solanacearum Race 2 to prevent introduction of the dreaded disease to India's fiber industry.

The import ban on Philippine abaca was in placed since September 11 due to one shipment, which contained first-class rope-grade abaca fiber, which allegedly lacked proper documentation and had Moko disease.

While India is not a major importer of Philippine abaca, Costales earlier said a prolonged ban could hurt the country's stature as the world's top producer and exporter of the natural fiber, known over the world as Manila hemp.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jul 30, 2019
Words:351
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