Exports to Europe and Saudi Arabia:

Pesticide contamination threatens Egyptian fruit export

Following threats by the European Union and Saudi Arabia to curtail Egyptian imports due to high pesticide contamination, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation has tightened inspection procedures for fruit.

The ministry stated that the move was meant to increase the export of fruit products following complaints of pesticide contamination in oranges, guavas and pomegranates. This will reduce the high numbers of fruit exports rejected by customers over biosafety concerns.

Starting this month, only the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine in Cairo will handle all inspections and export requests for guavas and pomegranates. Inspections will take place on farms before being tested in laboratories for pesticide residues.

Last month, Saudi Arabia banned Egyptian guava imports citing high pesticide contamination. The country said it would stop receiving the Egyptian exports unless the contamination problem was resolved.

According to an africanfarming.com article, the EU’s administration for phytosanitary standards said it would tighten inspections of Egyptian citrus imports in order to identify content that may be harmful to humans, or threaten local plants with disease. Previously, it was EU policy to inspect 25% of the containers in each fruit shipment. The rate has now been increased to 100%.
Egypt exports around 220,000 tons of citrus to the EU annually.

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