Egypt resumed potato exports to European markets in mid-December, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. This year, 25 potato cultivators from the regions of Nobariya, Ismailia and Sharqiya were selected by the Health Committee of the European Union (EU) to export their produce. In the past, the EU rejected several Egyptian potato shipments due to health considerations.
In September, Egyptian authorities have seized and destroyed 10 tons of potato polluted with DDT, an internationally prohibited pesticide, which were sold in the Al-Mansoura wholesale market in the Dagahliyya district, Al-Massa reported.
The European Commission (EC) announced in late-June that it has decided to drop the temporary ban imposed on Egyptian potatoes. The ban was imposed in May 2001, in response to fears of the spread of Potato Brown Rot (Ralstonia solanacearum), a bacterial disease, which can harm crop yields and make infected potatoes unusable.
The embargo posed serious threats to Egypt, as potatoes constitute an important export crop for the nation. Up until the ban, nearly 174,000 tons of potatoes were exported, of which 136,000 tons were sold to the European Union (EU), while only 38,000 tons were exported to Arab nations.
The Egyptian Undersecretary of Agriculture Hussein Daoudy said that Egypt is expecting to export 150,000 tons of potatoes to European Markets and throughout the Arab World this winter season. Last year, Egypt exported 174,000 tons of potatoes. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )