The percentage of fruit and vegetables that are imported from Lebanon is very small compared to what is imported from other countries or produced within Saudi Arabia, says the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) in a statement.
Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Musained told saudigazette.com.sa that the Lebanese imports of fruit and vegetables represent only one percent of the total market share in the Kingdom. The spokesman said that Saudi Arabia does not depend on a particular country for import of essential goods, including fruit and vegetables. He noted that there are many alternative markets for import of fruit and vegetables after banning import from Lebanon based on official reports.
The nation recently banned the import and transit of fruit and vegetables form Lebanon after the authorities foiled a number of drug smuggling attempts, with the modus operandi being the drugs found hidden in pomegranate consignments.
Lebanon is in the fourth position in terms of orange imports into Saudi Arabia with 15,800 tons, while Egypt is the top country with about 280,000 tons followed by South Africa with 271,000 tons and Spain with 22,000 tons.