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Agricultural exports drop by 12.8% — ministry

By Hana Namrouqa - Jul 12,2016 - Last updated at Jul 12,2016

Tomatoes made up 58 per cent of Jordan’s exported vegetables in the first half of 2016 (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Agricultural exports dropped by 12.8 per cent during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period of the last year, a government official said on Tuesday.

The Kingdom exported 340,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, generating JD200 million between January and June, compared to 391, 007 tonnes and JD230 million in the same period in 2015, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said.

Haddadin attributed the drop in the exports to the ongoing closure of Jordan’s borders with Syria and Iraq, which used to consume nearly two-thirds of the Kingdom’s vegetable produce. 

The Karama-Turaibil crossing on the border between Jordan and Iraq, the gateway for Jordanian produce to reach Iraqi and European markets, was closed in the summer of 2015.

The border crossing remains closed despite recent reports that its reopening is imminent.

Also in 2015, Jordan closed the Jaber border crossing with Syria for security reasons, while Ramtha, the other border crossing with the war-torn country, has been closed for nearly five years.

Some 1,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables, worth millions of Jordanian dinars, used to be exported every day to Syria and Lebanon, according to the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables.

“The Gulf market was the main importer of local produce during the first half of this year, with 82 per cent of the fruit and vegetables imported by Gulf countries,” Haddadin noted.


Tomatoes made up 58 per cent of the exported vegetables, followed by lettuce and bell peppers, according to the ministry, which indicated that peaches constituted 51 per cent of the exported fruit, followed by melon and watermelon which made up 44 per cent of fruit exports. 

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