Kazakhstan did not allow contaminated tomatoes from Turkmenistan into its territory

On June 4, 2024, it became known that Kazakhstan refused to accept a shipment of tomatoes from Turkmenistan due to the discovery of harmful organisms. The State Inspectorate for Phytosanitary Safety of Kazakhstan reported that quarantine objects posing a threat to local agriculture were identified in shipments of Turkmen tomatoes. Turkmen media reported this.

Kazakh phytosanitary inspectors reportedly conducted a thorough inspection of the tomato shipment at the border and found the presence of Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) and other pests. In this regard, a decision was made to ban the import of contaminated cargo into the country. The tomatoes were returned back to Turkmenistan, and appropriate violation notices were sent to suppliers.

The authorities of Turkmenistan finally responded and expressed regret over the incident, and also announced their readiness to strengthen control over the quality of exported products. The Ministry of Agriculture of Turkmenistan promised to conduct an internal investigation and take measures to prevent similar cases in the future. It is expected that additional checks and standards will be introduced for agricultural exports.

Will there be consequences?

This incident may have an impact on trade relations between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Kazakh officials stressed the importance of complying with phytosanitary norms and standards for all imported products. At the same time, both sides expressed interest in continuing cooperation and improving quality control mechanisms.

We would like to add that the case of contaminated tomatoes highlights the importance of compliance with international phytosanitary standards to ensure the safety of agricultural products. Kazakhstan, striving to protect its agricultural resources from pests and diseases, demonstrates a serious approach to the control of imported goods. This incident serves as a reminder of the need for strict controls and high quality standards for all participants in international agricultural trade.

Thus, Kazakhstan’s refusal to accept contaminated tomatoes from Turkmenistan became an important signal for both countries, emphasizing the importance of compliance with phytosanitary standards and the need to strengthen product quality control mechanisms.

Let us recall that Turkmenistan has recently faced criticism regarding the quality of exported products. A number of cases in which partner countries refused to accept Turkmen products due to non-compliance with phytosanitary standards drew attention to problems in this area.
For example, in 2022, several countries, including Russia and Iran, reported detecting excess pesticides in shipments of Turkmen melons. This led to temporary bans on the import of these products and tightened border controls. In the past, there have also been cases where Turkmen products did not meet international quality and safety standards. For example, Turkey has repeatedly returned shipments of fruits and vegetables due to non-compliance with phytosanitary requirements and the presence of harmful substances.

Turkmenistan does face problems of poor quality of exported products, which negatively affects its international reputation and trade relations. The country’s authorities must take urgent action to improve quality control and ensure compliance with international phytosanitary standards to strengthen its position in the global market and prevent further incidents. Otherwise, everyone will want to end trade and economic relations with this country.