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Jordan抯 agricultural sector suffers 280 million dollars in lossesThursday, August 07, 2014 > 08:21:20
The president of the Association of Exporters of Vegetables and Fruits of Jordan, Zuhair Jwayhan, reported that the country's agricultural sector suffered losses of up to $ 280 million mainly as a result of the 50% drop in agricultural exports since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011 and the tensions with Iraq.
The deficit in Jordan's trade balance reached six billion dollars during the first five months of 2014; an increase of 6.1%, compared to the same period last year.
Jwayhan explains that Jordan's most important agricultural export markets are Russia and Eastern Europe, where Jordanian products arrive by road through Syrian territory, but these shipments are currently stalled due to the Syrian conflict between opposition forces and the army.
Jordanian growers suffer the consequences of this situation, as they are unable to export their products overseas or to market them locally.
Jwayhan said that some growers are no longer able to fulfil the contracts they have with importers in Europe and Russia. Production in plantations relies on contractual agreements, with buyers determining the quantity and specific type of agricultural products they wish, for which they pay in advance.
Jwayhan explained that Jordan's fruit and vegetable exports formerly reached 800,000 tonnes per year, worth approximately $ 1.4 billion.
He said that the agricultural sector called on the government for support to be able to export its products by air, and by supporting the cost of shipping.
He pointed out that Jordan's agricultural production has seen a significant increase over the past year and the first half of this year.
The Department of Statistics released a report a few days ago stating that the country's horticultural production in 2013 increased by 5.5% compared with 2012.
The production of vegetables increased by 13%, with higher volumes of tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, cauliflower, potatoes and others.