Jordan's exports of fruit and vegetables to Gulf Arab countries have been increasing since the beginning of the year, with some 900 tonnes of produce exported daily, a government official said on Saturday.
"Agricultural produce exported to Gulf countries is expected to surpass exports during the same period last year," Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times.
The increase in agricultural exports is attributed to the abundant production of fruit and vegetables during this time of the year, particularly tomatoes, Haddadin noted.
"A total of 50 refrigerated trucks carrying 900 tonnes of fruit and vegetables are heading to the Gulf states every day, which will positively affect farmers," he added.
Tomatoes constitute over half of the exported produce, with 500 tonnes being shipped daily to Gulf states, Hadadin said.
Jordan is among the top 10 world countries in terms of producing and exporting tomatoes, which constitute around 65 per cent of the total exported agricultural produce, according to official figures.
Prices of vegetables in the local market are also witnessing a drop since the start of the year with the increase in production.
The Gulf market is now seen as Jordan's prime importer of fruit and vegetables, consuming 83.2 per cent of the country's produce the past year, according to the ministry.
The Syrian and Lebanese markets followed, importing 6.6 per cent of local fruit and vegetables; while Iraq imported 5.2 per cent; Israel 3 per cent; European countries 1 per cent; and a group of other countries 1 per cent, ministry figures indicate.
The Kingdom exported 783,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables in 2015, which generated revenues of JD520 million.
Vegetables made up 82.4 per cent of last year's agricultural exports, 65 per cent of which were tomatoes.By Hana Namrouqa
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