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GCC Demand for Jordan’s Agricultural Produce Expected to Rise

May 29, 2017 | Zawya

Amman – Jordan’s exports of sheep and agricultural produce to the Arab Gulf countries are expected to increase with the fasting month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Sunday.

There is a growing demand for the country’s fruits and vegetables, especially summer fruits, coming from the Gulf countries, ministry spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said, adding that sheep exports are also expected to increase as consumption rises during Ramadan.

“A total of 2,150 tonnes of fruits and vegetables were exported to the Gulf countries on Saturday, and their demand is expected to increase,” Haddadin said.

He indicated that the recent ban by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on some of the Kingdom’s types of vegetables did not affect the volume of agricultural exports to the Gulf, indicating that the Kingdom’s main vegetable exports to the Gulf are tomato and cucumber, among other crops.

The UAE enforced a ban on the import of seven of Jordan’s main vegetable exports as of mid-May due to increasing levels of chemical pesticide residues found in Jordanian agricultural products. The banned vegetables include all types of zucchini, sweet pepper, eggplant, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower and lettuce.

The UAE’s decision also stipulated that imports of any fruit and vegetables, besides the aforementioned, be coupled with certificates from the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture indicating that the produce was free from pesticide remnants.

“The volume of exports is expected to increase because the country is now producing summer fruits, such as melon, watermelon and apricot, which are highly demanded by the Gulf countries,” Haddadin noted.

Meanwhile, some 3,000 heads of sheep are being exported daily to the Gulf countries, according to the ministry, which indicated that the figure will rise during the fasting month.

The volume of Jordan’s sheep exports increased by 15 per cent during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to a recent figures from the ministry.

A total of 121,546 heads of sheep have been exported to the Gulf since the start of the year, the ministry said, indicating that the majority of sheep exports went to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

The country’s exports of live sheep in 2016 dropped by 26.4 per cent compared to 2015, according to the ministry, which attributed the decrease to a lower demand from Gulf countries in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular.

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