Lebanon Businessnews News

Agricultural exports increased by six percent
Potatoes represented 38 percent of overall exports
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Agriculture exports increased by 5.8 percent in 2013, said the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry attributed the rise to the increase in production and to quality improvement.

Agricultural products were exported to the Gulf countries, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Tony Tohme, Head of the Economy Committee at the Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture of Zahleh, said: “Local farmers benefited from the Syrian crisis, as Jordan and Iraqi traders imported several agricultural products, especially potato, from the local market as an alternative.”

Exports supported by ‘Agri-Plus’, a program run by the state and managed by IDAL, increased about 14 percent last year, to 519,000 tons. Potatoes came in first place, in terms of export volume, representing around 38 percent of overall exports, followed by apples and citrus fruits. Exports of apples reached 79,000 tons, and citrus fruits 78,000 tons.

The main export destination was ‘Zone B’, which included Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, and Iran. This zone imported 69 percent of the overall quantity. Zone A, which comprised Syria and Jordan, imported around 30 percent of local agricultural products.

Exports of new products in the Agri-Plus program, such as olive oil and honey, also witnessed an increase. Olive oil exports exceeded 2,500 tons, 50 percent of which were exported to countries in North and South America and Australia (Zone D), and the rest were exported to Zone B countries.
About 69 percent of the exports were transferred by land, 29 percent by sea, and two percent by air.

Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jan 20, 2014
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