Saudi to lift ban on Jordan poultry imports
Saudi Arabia has decided to lift a ban on imports of Jordanian poultry, according to Minister of Agriculture Zuhair Zannouneh on Saturday, February 17. Speaking following his return from a four-day visit to Saudi Arabia, the minister said a team of veterinarians from Saudi Arabia will visit Jordan to inspect measures taken by the private and public sectors to ensure the good health and safety of farm animals.
Zannoneh said he discussed with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Abdullah Bin Moammar agricultural issues and was reassured that Saudi Arabia will reopen its markets to Jordanian agricultural products very soon.
Exports to the Arab Gulf states declined 12.7 percent in 1999 due to allegations that Jordanian farmers use excessive pesticides as well as contaminated water to irrigate crops.
Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been importing Jordanian agricultural products, but agricultural crops sold to Saudi Arabia dropped to a mere one percent of the total amount exported to Arab countries in 1999.
In his talks with Saudi government officials, Zannouneh outlined the safety measures and pesticide and fertilization procedures and said the Kingdom's agricultural exports are currently marketed in European countries due to their high quality.
Zannouneh briefed the Saudi officials on the government's plans to promote production and explained incentives to investors in the agricultural sector. According to the minister, Saudi officials said they would reconsider opening the Saudi market to Jordanian products.
Ministry of Agriculture specialists had said the Euro-Jordan Association Agreement initialed in 1997 and Jordan's integration into the World Trade Organization prompted the Kingdom to upgrade the quality of its agricultural production to be competitive abroad.— ( Jordan Times )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)