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Uzbekistan returns tons of dangerous potatoes to Iran and Pakistan

The Uzbek quarantine authorities have returned more than 3,500 tons of potatoes to Iran and Pakistan. They found dangerous pests - pale and golden potato nematodes. "The agency returned 3,525 tons of potatoes in which nematodes were detected, and another 775 tons were destroyed in Uzbekistan," the Agency for Plant Protection and Quarantine said.

If such incidents are repeated, Uzbekistan could ban imports of potatoes from Iran and Pakistan altogether.

The quarantine authorities of those countries have already received notifications of violations of phytosanitary requirements. Consultations are underway to rectify the detected violations and a list of Iranian and Pakistani companies exporting potatoes in accordance with phytosanitary requirements is being compiled.

It turned out that potatoes from Pakistan were already mixed with potatoes grown in other countries and used as fodder in Afghanistan.

Today, Uzbekistan imports about 400,000 tons of potatoes annually, compared to 56,000 tons in 2016, according to official data. The leading supplier of potatoes to Uzbekistan this year is Iran - in January-July, imports of vegetables from this country amounted to 119,000 tons (38.5% of total imports). Pakistan ranks third in this indicator (75.5 thousand tons, 24.4%), giving way to Kazakhstan (85 thousand tons, 27.4%). Russia is in sixth place on this list - 4.2 thousand tons (1.4%).

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