Saudi Arabia ends 21-year ban on Jordanian produce

The Wire: Fruit and vegetables from Jordan can once again be imported into Saudi Arabia after irrigation concerns were appeased.

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Jordan will resume today the export of fruit and vegetables to Saudi Arabia, which lifted a 21-year ban on agricultural products from its neighbor.

Jordan met all conditions set by Saudi Arabia on the import of agricultural produce, Mohammad Fawaeer, head of the crop and production unit at the Agriculture Ministry, said in a telephone interview in Amman today.

Shipments were halted after Saudi allegations that Jordan used wastewater for irrigation, he said. “All fruit and vegetables to be exported to Saudi Arabia will be from crops planted in Mafraq governorate, where crops are only irrigated by underground water wells,” he said.

Jordan exported about 750,000 tons of vegetables and fruit last year to the Gulf states and to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Europe, according to ministry data. The kingdom exported 213,228 tons of fruits and vegetables to Saudi Arabia in 1990, the last year produce was allowed to enter the country.