Strawberries are displayed during the 2009 Strawberry Festival in the agricultural village of Mgarr in the north of Malta April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
CAIRO – 4 April 2018: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) lifted the ban on imports of Egyptian strawberries and peppers to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, according to Ahmed el-Atar, chairman of Egypt’s Central Department of Quarantine.
This decision came after the Saudi Arabian authorities, during the recent visit of the Egyptian delegation, were informed of the implementation of the new system in accordance with the European requirements, the approved limits for pesticide residues and Codex standards, raising the quality of Egyptian agricultural products, whether for domestic consumption or export.
Meanwhile, the SFDA also decided to lift the temporary ban on imports of Egyptian frozen guava to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
In December 2017, Saudi Arabia banned importing frozen guava from Egypt due to pesticide residues that exceeded global standards.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Safwat al-Haddad said that talks with the Kingdom would be resumed to lift the ban of fresh guava according to the regulations set by the SFDA.
The Ministry of Agriculture is waiting for the Saudi decision to cancel the ban on the import of fresh guava according to the prior agreement between the competent authorities of the two countries during the recent visit by the delegation of Egypt, according to Atar.
Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Jordan have recently lifted their bans on imports of Egyptian lettuce, guava, onions, pepper and potatoes, which were suspended because of their high pesticide residues.
Exports of agricultural products decreased in January 2018 to $200 million, compared to $217 million in the same month of 2017 – a decrease of 8 percent.
In 2017, agricultural exports jumped 3 percent to $2.2 billion, compared to $2.1 billion in 2016.