Government has an existing system of agricultural bio-security maintained through its Plan and Animal Quarantine systems.
The import of agricultural commodities is regulated through 57 Plant Quarantine Stations covering the notified import entry points, airports, seaports, and land frontiers, and sixty in-land depots to carry out plant quarantine inspections and to facilitate safe import and export of plants and plant materials.
The legislative framework is provided by the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) order, 2003 issued under the Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1914. The purpose and intent of this Act is to prevent the introduction of any insect, nematodes, weeds, fungus or other invasive and exotic pest, which is or may be destructive to crops.
The import of plants and plant materials are regulated on the basis of a scientific Pest Risk Analysis to safeguard the native plants species from exotic pests. For Animal Quarantine there is a central legislation, entitled, "The Livestock Importation (Amendment) Act, 2001"
The National Commission on Farmers recommended the setting up of a National Agricultural Bio-security System, a National Agricultural Bio-security Council for policy making and coordination, a National Centre for Agricultural Bio-security and a National Agricultural Bio-security Network.
On the basis of the recommendations made by the National Commission on Farmers, Government of India formulated the National Policy for Farmers, 2007. This policy has the goal to strengthen the bio-security of crops, farm animals, fish and forest trees for safeguarding the livelihood and income security of farmers families and the health and trade security of the nation. This policy has laid down the establishment of an
Integrated National Agricultural Bio-security System (NABS) covering crops, animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry and agriculturally relevant micro-organisms, with the objectives to (i) safeguard the income and livelihood security of farmers families, (ii) enhance national and local capacity in initiating proactive measures in monitoring and early warning, education, international cooperation, (iii) introduce an integrated bio-security package, and (iv) organize an integrated national agricultural bio-security programme with effective home and regional quarantine facilities.
This information was given in the Lok Sabha today by Shri Kanti Lal Bhuria, Minister of State for Agriculture in a written reply.