Jordanian agricultural industry not benefitting from reopened border with Syria

A Syrian delegation representing farmers, exporters and importers is scheduled to visit the Kingdom of Jordan in two weeks, with the aim of discussing the exchange of fruit and vegetables between the two countries. The Syrian delegation is expected in Jordan in mid-November. Earlier, representatives of Jordan’s agricultural sector cancelled a trip to Damascus, intended to prepare the ground for resuming agricultural trade between Jordan and Syria. Asked why the visit was called off, no specific reason was given.

President of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables Saadi Abu Hammad said that agricultural sector representatives in both countries decided to meet in Amman, noting that Jordanian producers, importers and exporters travelled to Syria two months ago and met with their Syrian counterparts.

“Despite reopening our borders in the middle of this month with Syria, we did not resume exporting. We are actually importing produce from Syria that is not available in the Jordanian market now, like apples, pears and certain vegetables,” Abu Hammad told The Jordan Times.

He underlined the importance of the upcoming meeting in deciding which types of fruit and vegetables Jordan can export to Syria during winter and with what quantities. “Winter fruit and vegetables produced in the Jordan Valley are abundant, so it is very important to find marketing portals to export them, mainly citrus fruits,” Abu Hammad noted.

The agriculture expert underscored that Jordan’s agricultural sector currently is not actually benefiting from reopening the Jaber/Nasib border crossing because Syria’s borders with Turkey remain closed. “Syria was never Jordan’s main end destination for fruit and vegetables, it was our portal and gateway to reach the European market, especially during winter.”

The industry pins its hopes on the Bab Al Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey opening soon, so that the sector can recover.

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