Procedures for interstate movement of kaffir lime leaves

The Territory’s kaffir lime leaf growers can resume trade and movement of their crop following approval of procedures for the accreditation, treatment, packaging and movement of kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir lime leaves are harvested year-round, and the estimated annual value of the lime leaf sector in Darwin is $250,000.

Since the introduction of movement and quarantine measures to control the spread of the citrus canker disease, kaffir lime leaf growers have been unable to send their leaves to interstate markets, where the demand for the NT grown leaves is high.

While a protocol for moving citrus fruit from the NT was agreed in July 2018, it has taken longer to get agreement on procedures for moving kaffir lime leaves.

The NT Government has been working closely with growers, industry and interstate governments to develop procedures for moving kaffir lime leaves.

Citrus leaves have a different risk profile than citrus fruit for the potential spread of citrus canker, and there is no agreed international standard for the movement of citrus leaves from citrus canker control areas.

Under the new procedures, a kaffir lime leaf farm must be accredited as being free of citrus canker, regularly monitored for the citrus canker disease and citrus leaf miner pest, and leaves must be soaked in an antibacterial solution before being packed. NT Government plant health inspectors will also randomly sample and inspect a large number of leaves before they are shipped to certify that all required procedures have been followed.

Agreement to the procedures is a huge relief for kaffir lime leaf growers, who were advised of the news by Dr Anne Walters, Chief Plant Health Inspector, in April 2019.

Last updated: 28 September 2020

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