The UK has eased restrictions on citrus from Bangladesh igniting hopes amongst the industry there it could revive exports to Europe.
The UK’s Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) imposed restrictions on the importation of citrus from Bangladesh in 2008 following repeated arrivals of fruit infected with canker, leaf spot and black spot, the Financial Express has reported. As a result exports to the UK and other markets in Europe fell away.
Officials at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Department of Agricultural Extension and the Hortex Foundation, however, have established the diseases do not affect citrus grown in the Narsingdi and Bandarban districts. Treatments for the diseases have also been developed that do not require pesticides that are banned in the EU, the newspaper reported.
Since the easing of restrictions Bangladesh has sent six citrus shipments, totalling 107 tonnes, to the UK.
Meanwhile a separate report by the Financial Express stated Bangladesh could soon begin exporting bananas for the first time to markets in Europe, Middle East and North America.
The news comes in light of a recent study into the shelf life of green bananas that addressed concerns as to maintaining post harvest quality.
Testing has shown the quality and freshness of bananas from Bangladesh can be maintained for at least one month allowing produce to be shipped to Europe, the Middle East and North America.