About National Referral Laboratory(NRL)


Grape is one of the important fresh fruit being exported to European Union countries besides the countries of Middle East and the Far East. Pesticide residue in the grapes is one of the quality parameters before the importers in importing countries to accept the produce. In 2003-04, the Indian grapes exported to European Union countries faced a complete ban due to presence of pesticide residues above the prescribed EU-MRL level. As a corrective action, EU authority has advised India to establish a traceability monitoring system of control of pesticide residues in grapes for further initiation of grape export to EU. As a repercussion to this, APEDA, Ministry of Commerce recognized ICAR-NRC for Grapes as the National Referral Laboratory (NRL) to establish traceability system for control pesticide residues in table grapes for export. Due to this centre’s dedicated services as National Referral Laboratory, the export of table grapes to EU restarted in 2004-05 and it improved significantly since last year with zero rapid alerts due to MRL exceedance. At domestic level, the MRL non-compliance of fresh grapes for export to EU countries has reduced from 24% in 2004 to around 5-7% in the recent years. Thus, there is increase in MRL compliance by around 17% due to the actives played by the ICAR-NRC Grapes as the National Referral Laboratory. This effect has also created a positive influence on the total export of fresh grapes from India, which has been increased from INR 105.89 crores in 2003-2004 just before implementation of the residue monitoring system to the current value of INR 2146.22 crores in 2017-18. Further, the official control of pesticide residues in grape has been extended to other export markets other than EU such as Russia, China, GCC, Indonesia, Canada etc. in the same line. This residue monitoring in export grapes has created awareness among domestic market as well and the centre initiated a “zero residue grape” program for domestic market since 2017-18 for better price realization for growers. As an overall consequence of this, the export has increased significantly over several years and the growers got a better price realization for their produce both at export and domestic market. On successful implementation of Residue Monitoring Plan in grape, the model was extended by APEDA to all other fruits and vegetables for monitoring pesticide residues and in peanut and peanut products for monitoring aflatoxins with ICAR-NRCG being the National referral Laboratory.



All grape farmers, farms & plots intending to produce grapes for export to the European Union and Non-EU, exporters, APEDA recognized pack houses, APEDA recognized laboratories authorized for sampling, analysis and grading of grapes and personnel engaged by them, ICAR-NRC Grapes, Central Insecticide Board, DMI, respective State Government departments of Agriculture/Horticulture, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and any other agencies/ stakeholders including extension providers in any form to the farmers, producers and exporters cultivating crops for exports shall get covered under this

Responsibilities of the NRL