Pakistani Senior Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim and visiting Iranian Deputy Minister for Industries, Mines and Commerce, Abass Ghabadi will hold talks on barter trade on Friday (today), official sources said, Business Recorder reported.
The sources said Iranian agriculture experts had also arrived to visit Pakistani laboratories installed for checking of karnal bunt or Tilletia India in wheat as Iran had earlier expressed an unwillingness to accept Pakistani wheat containing the fungal disease or karnal bunt.
"Iranian inspectors will collect wheat samples from the godowns of Passco and undertake checks and only after their acceptance barter deal would be finalised," said an official on condition of anonymity.
The sources said Iranians were also interested in procurement of rice, raw sugar, fruits and vegetables. "Both the ministers will discuss all the issues hindering barter deal in commodities between the two countries," the sources continued.
Earlier, Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) sent a letter to Plant Protection Department of Iran in this regard and invited Iranian experts to visit Pakistani laboratories in order to address their reservation about the presence of karnal bunt in Pakistani wheat.
Source said Pakistan had provided wheat samples to Iranian authorities some months ago but they did not accept the samples and expressed an intention to collect samples physically themselves. Karnal bunt is a seed borne disease of wheat caused by Tilletia indica.
The disease is known to occur in parts of India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Mexico and the US, generally characterised by a semiarid climate with hot summers and cool winters.
Edited by: S. Isayev