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Bangladesh considering of lifting double fumigation in importing US cotton

Bangladesh is considering removing the obligation of double fumigation in importing US cotton on a case-to-case basis – only after receiving a field-level inspection report from Ministry of Agriculture officials, according to media reports.

As per the report, a team of Ministry of Agriculture officials will visit the USA shortly to understand the cotton fumigation procedure there, sources added.

Bangladesh considering-lifting-double-fumigation-field-level-report-importing-US-cotton
Figure: Bangladesh is considering removing the obligation of double fumigation in importing US cotton on a case-to-case basis. Courtesy: Cotton USA

according to an official who attended the meeting said, Bangladesh has already conveyed this conclusion to the US officials at a high-level economic partnership consultation – held in Washington DC recently.

For long, the US cotton officials has long been urging Bangladesh to remove the obligation of double fumigation of cotton, being carried out after the item reaches the ports.

Also, the US requested to take into consideration certificates of credited labs, which would validate that the cotton is free of Boll Weevil, an insect whose larva can remain alive in cotton for nearly 11 months even after fumigation.

The US has been insisting that double fumigation of cotton has cost, and it is also a time-intense process, which dampens Bangladeshi millers to import US cotton.

In a recent meeting at the MoA, Ranjit Kumar Paul, Director of the Plant Quarantine Wing, Dept. of Agriculture Extension (DAE), recommended that the US cotton has to be declared pest-free, based on pest risk analysis, and has to be certified by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

Ranjit Kumar added that the US cotton can be imported based on their fumigation report, and the obligation of double fumigation can be weaved on case-to-case basis only afterwards.

US cotton holds 9% share in Bangladesh’s annual cotton import – and the USA cotton officials are hopeful that this can be increased up to 20% – if there is no such fumigation requirement, Bangladeshi spinners opined.

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