The production of Egyptian open field strawberries has been underway for a while, and the produce is almost ready to be exported. It’ll be a challenging season, as the effects of Covid could still hurt export. High prices for airfreight and other uncertainties have caused one exporter to not increase production this season.
Strawberry cultivation in Egypt has been getting harder. Next to Covid, the changing weather conditions had made it more difficult for early strawberry varieties, says All Fresh Egypt founder Reda Ezz: “The production of strawberries in the open field has become a big challenge after weather changes in Egypt over the last three years. Rains have been anticipated in Egypt in mid-December, but in the last three years this has changed. Now we see rains in October, only a month after the strawberries are cultivated. This has a bad effect on the early varieties, such as Sonsation and Winter Star.”
Naturally the pandemic also had a large effect on the exports of produce overall. Ezz fears it could also become a problem for the upcoming strawberry season. “Another challenge became very evident this year. Covid 19 had a terrible effect on the airfreight situation. Many civil planes stopped flying, which normally load about 50% of all our strawberries. Naturally this led to an increase in the rates for airfreight. Last year, the price sat around 1.20 USD per kg. Our most important markets can be found in Europe; being the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, all of them we’d like to be able to supply via air freight.” He explains.
As a result of these challenging uncertainties, Ezz has decided not to increase his acreage for the open field strawberries this season. “This season is so difficult for both growers and exporters. All Fresh Egypt is one of oldest growers of strawberries in Egypt, and we usually increase our acreage every year, however this year we’ve decided to grow on the same amount of hectares as we did last season. So there will be no increase in production, mostly due to the uncertainties of Covid-19. We still aim to export about 1500 metric tons of fresh strawberries this season, as well as 5000 metric tons of IQF frozen strawberries.” Ezz concludes.
For more information:
All Fresh Egypt
Tel: +20 101 6151498