You are here

Fruit, vegetable exports up by 6.7 per cent in April

By Hana Namrouqa - May 06,2015 - Last updated at May 06,2015

AMMAN — Exports of fruits and vegetables increased by 6.7 per cent in April compared to the previous month, according to official figures, which indicate that the majority of the local produce was exported to the Gulf states.

A total of 58,600 tonnes of fruits and vegetables were exported last month, Agriculture Minister Akef Zu’bi said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

“Ninety per cent, or 53,000 tonnes, of the exported produce was vegetables and 10 per cent, or 5,600 tonnes, were fruits,” Zu’bi added.

The minister noted that produce exports increased last month despite the closure of Jordan’s border with Syria.

Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin attributed the increase to rising demand from Gulf states.

“The Gulf countries’ surging demand for local fruits and vegetables... is partly making up for losses incurred by the closure of the border with Syria,” Haddadin told The Jordan Times.

Jordan closed the Jaber border with Syria early last month for security reasons. Passenger and cargo traffic across the border was halted as a result of escalating violence in the Syrian town of Nasib, located near the crossing.

The decision to close was primarily taken with the aim of saving the lives of passengers as Nasib had been witnessing “fierce” confrontations between forces loyal to the regime of  Syrian President Bashar Assad and armed opposition groups.

Jordan’s other border crossing with Syria, Ramtha, has been closed for nearly four years, except for humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country in compliance with a UN decision taken last year.

A total of 1,000 tonnes of fruits 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 Fruits and Vegetables.

Haddadin noted that tomatoes constituted 60 per cent of the vegetables exported in April and lettuce comprised 11 per cent, while melons made up 42.6 per cent and watermelons 38.5 per cent of the fruits exported last month.

A total of 78.6 per cent of the fruits and vegetables were exported to Gulf states, 16.6 per cent to Iraq and 4.8 per cent to a various countries, according to ministry figures.

48 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.