Return of fungal wheat

Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

THE agriculture ministry will look into the reported presence of the Karnal bunt infection in one of the consignments of Indian wheat to Turkey. The Turkish agriculture ministry had rejected the wheat saying that its inspectors had detected Karnal bunt fungus in it.

The ministry made it clear that Turkey had not barwed all Indian wheat imports but only those containing the fungus. Inquiries from Krishi Bhawan reveal that the Karnal bunt disease, which had become a threat over a decade ago was stillpr6ent in some parts of the country though not in large proportions. The disease does not affect the yield of the crop but renders the grain unfit for the market. The bunt- infected seeds emit foul smell similar to that of rotten eggs.

Krishi Bhawan sources said the Turkish incident cannot become a non-tariff barrier to the export of Indian wheat. The Karnal bunt infection can only be a cause for a ban on Indian wheat imports in those countries which are absolutely free of this disease, not in others.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.