A Correspondent

Nedumbassery: Efforts are on to set up a phytosanitary certification system at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) to facilitate export of fruits and vegetables by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed), according to senior airport officials.

Nafed is planning to export spices and vegetables to the Gulf countries which have a large expatriate population by entering into a tripartite agreement with the CIAL and the State Horticulture Mission (SHM). However, the absence of a phytosanitary certification facility at the airport for export purposes, is being cited as a constraint. Currently, phytosanitary certification for the cargo reaching here is being done at the plant quarantine department in Willingdon Island, Kochi.

According to the officials, the CIAL would have to accommodate a full-fledged phytosanitary certification section to avoid unnecessary delays in the exports by Nafed.

An airport official said the Nafed was expected to initiate the steps in coordination with the Union Ministry of Agriculture. The airport had already offered to provide space for setting up a laboratory for the plant quarantine department.