Fearing invasive pests, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) has rejected large quantities of fruit from Chile and the United States.
In a press release on their site, ICA said it had returned 768 tons of imported fruit since the start of 2011.
The ICA’s main concern is the Khapra Beetle, an invasive insect originating in South East Asia that destroys farm crops.
ICA official Rafael Sanmiguel said, “The pests intercepted in shipments from Chile and the United States have never been present in Colombia. Thanks to the constant ICA inspections in 27 control points located in airports, ports, and border crossings, Colombia has avoided contamination of its agriculture production.”
The ICA, which inspected 28,000 import shipments and 95,000 export shipments last year, will have to work even harder as the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement further opens up Colombia to imported agriculture.