Jordan’s daily exports of fruits and vegetables to Arab Gulf countries and Iraq reach around 4,000 tons, including 1,200 tons of tomatoes, according to official figures.
Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin, said that tomatoes are sold at reasonable prices, stressing that the heat wave that has been affecting the Kingdom since last Thursday has not caused any damage to fruit and vegetable crops in the country. 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 officials. The “suitable” weather conditions and the “huge” number of greenhouses make this red fruit a mainstay in the Kingdom’s agriculture around the year, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said Thursday. “Nearly 65 per cent of the total 900,000 tonnes of agricultural exports each year are tomatoes,” he told The Jordan Times. Zuhair Jweihan, president of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables, noted that tomatoes can be grown “almost everywhere” in Jordan due to the “appropriate” climate. “There are also 55,000 greenhouses where this crop is cultivated,” he said, adding that the Arab Gulf, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are the main markets for local tomatoes along with some parts of Europe. With Jordanians consuming more than 500 tonnes of tomatoes a day, Haddadin noted that even areas of urban poverty produce this crop. Despite the regional unrest, which sometimes resulted in shutting the doors to exports of Jordanian crops — mainly to neighbouring countries, local fruit and vegetables have continued to penetrate world markets “thanks to the Agriculture Ministry’s efforts”. “We continue to export to more than 50 countries,” the ministry’s spokesperson said, noting that revenues from agriculture produce have reached “unprecedented figures”.
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