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Plant quarantine is a technique for ensuring disease- and pest-free plants, whereby a plant is isolated while tests are performed to detect the presence of a problem.
Plant Quarantine regulatory measures are operative through the ‘Destructive Insects & Pests Act, 1914 (Act 2 of 1914) in the country.
The purpose and intent of this Act is to prevent the introduction of any insect, fungus or other pest, which is or may be destructive to crops.
The import of agricultural commodities is presently regulated through the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003 the provisions of New Policy on Seed Development, 1988.
Further, the significance of Plant Quarantine has increased in view of Globalization and liberalization in International trade of plants and plant material in the wake of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS)
Agreement under WTO. The phytosanitary certification of agricultural commodities being exported is also undertaken as per International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), 1951.
• Inspection of imported agricultural commodities for preventing the introduction of exotic pests and diseases inimical to Indian fauna and flora through implementation of DIP Act, 1914 and the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003 issued there under.
• Inspection of plants and plant material meant for export as per the requirements under International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) 1951 of FAO to facilitate pest free trade.
• Detection of exotic pests and diseases for their containment by adopting domestic quarantine regulations, if introduced.
The ongoing activities assigned under the scheme include:
• To issue import permits with additional declarations and special conditions to facilitate safe imports of agricultural products.
• To undertake quarantine inspection and laboratory testing of plants and plant material to ensure freedom from exotic pests.
• To undertake phytosanitary certification (for issuance of Phytosanitary Certificates (PSCs); 150 Nos. of Officers from Central/ State/ UT Governments have been authorized for this purpose.
• To undertake fumigation/disinfestations/disinfections of commodities to control infestation/infection.
• To undertake certification of post-entry quarantine facilities and inspection of imported growing plants and plant material; 41 Nos. of Inspection Authorities have been designated.
• To support Export market access for India’s Agriculture products from the phytosanitary point of view.
• To facilitate safe global trade in agriculture by assisting the producers and exporters by providing a technically competent and reliable phytosanitary certificate system to meet the requirements of trading partners.