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Kingdom sees fall in vegetable exports — ITC

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Nov 24,2021 - Last updated at Nov 24,2021

Jordan’s export rate of vegetables has been declining since 2016, according to statistics from the International Trade Centre (File photo)

AMMAN — Jordan’s export rate of vegetables has been declining since 2016, and it is having a negative impact on farmers in the Jordan Valley.

“Jordan’s export rate of vegetables has declined by over 50 per cent over the past five years,” according to statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC).

According to the ITC website, their calculations are based on data from the Department of Statistics.

The statistics show that Jordan used to export vegetables worth over $400,000,000 annually. However, the total vegetable export in 2020 did not exceed $200,000,000 according to the ITC website.

During 2020 Jordan exported vegetables to 34 countries worldwide.

Jordan’s top vegetable export markets are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain and Oman.

“Jordanian farmers are financially exhausted and most of the farmers are withdrawing from the market,” said a Jordanian vegetable exporter who preferred to remain anonymous.

He continued by saying that farmers have lost major markets in Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and Europe, and Jordan’s vegetable exports are declining further.

He believes that Jordanian farmers can win back market share if the government assists in supporting Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ) in carrying Jordanian produce to Europe and the GCC, he noted.

“The cost of production per square metre in Jordan is much higher than neighbouring countries,” the source added.

He further noted that costs of production, alongside energy and water costs, are high. Labour costs currently contribute to 25 per cent of the overall production cost.

The source noted that adopting Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) will enable Jordan produce to be sold as a standardised quality produce in international auctions. He finally noted that international brokers do not sell items that do not comply with international standards represented by the SOPs.

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