Jordan’s agricultural exports recover after heatwave losses: ministry

Published August 9th, 2015 - 10:14 GMT
Jordan experienced major agricultural losses from this season's heat wave. (Twitter)
Jordan experienced major agricultural losses from this season's heat wave. (Twitter)

Jordan’s agricultural exports have “recovered” after being affected by the recent heatwave that hit the country, an official said Saturday.

“Exports of local agricultural produce sustained damages during the heatwave, but fortunately, things have now returned to normal,” Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times over the phone on Saturday.

Last week, temperatures around the Kingdom soared above 40°C as the impact of a very hot air mass accompanied by a seasonal depression originating from the Indian subcontinent affected the country.

Since the end of the hot air mass on Thursday, some 3,400 tonnes of fruits and vegetables, including 2,500 tonnes of tomatoes, were exported to Gulf countries and Iraq in 179 refrigerated trucks, according to the spokesperson.

“This amount of exports will have a positive impact on farmers, especially those who cultivate tomatoes,” Haddadin said, noting that this was possible due to the government’s efforts in this area.

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.

Nearly 65 per cent of the total 900,000 tonnes of agricultural exports each year are tomatoes, Haddadin said in previous remarks to The Jordan Times.

“The movement of Jordanian refrigerated trucks from Kuwait to Iraq has facilitated the penetration of the Iraqi market,” he said Saturday.

However, the Agriculture Ministry did not identify the exact amount of losses incurred by the agricultural sector due to the high temperatures.

By Laila Azzeh

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