CALGARY — India has issued a six-month extension allowing Canadian peas and lentils to be exported to the country without first being treated for pests.
Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon said the notice issued this week is a positive step, but what's still unclear is whether Canadian exports will be exempt from a fine for not treating the shipments before export.
India, the largest market for Canada's 12,000 pulse farmers, had for years been letting Canadian shipments be treated on arrival rather than before shipping, but signalled earlier this year that the exception would end.
The dispute centres around India's requirement that pulse imports be fumigated with methyl bromide before export, a pesticide Canada is trying to phase out because of concerns it depletes the ozone layer, and which doesn't work well in the cold.
At the end of March, India issued a last-minute three-month extension to the waiver after Canadian officials met with Indian counterparts in an effort to keep open what was a $1.1-billion market for Canadian pulses last year.
A spokesperson for Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said the government continues to work to find a long-term solution to the issue.