Jordan’s Ministry of Agriculture is communicating with its Iraqi counterpart to secure the transit of local agricultural produce via Iraq to Turkey and Europe, a government official said.
The move seeks to open new portals for exporting the Kingdom's fruits and vegetables to east European countries as the Syria route remains suspended due to the crisis and the unstable security conditions in the country, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin told The Jordan Times.
"The ministry is exerting all efforts to avoid an expected market glut during the 2012-2013 agricultural season. We are trying to open new export gateways and facilitate marketing of local produce," Haddadin said.
Officials at the ministry are coordinating with Iraqi officials to activate the transit agreement between Amman and Baghdad and facilitate the export of local produce via Iraq to Turkey and Europe, he underscored.
Syria is Jordan's main gateway for exporting fruits and vegetables to Turkey and Europe, but all exports came to a complete halt in July due to the crisis in Syria.
According to agriculture ministry figures, in normal circumstances Jordan exports 180,000 tons of fruits and vegetables to Syria, at a value of around JD40 million annually.
Overland cargo movement between Jordan and Syria, however, has reached "zero", with barely a single truck leaving Jordan for Syria or vice versa due to the escalating violence.
Between 300 and 400 freight trucks used to enter the Kingdom through Syria on a daily basis, according to official figures.
"The ministry is also coordinating with Royal Jordanian to start exporting local produce to Europe by air, especially since Jordanian fruits and vegetables are sought after in international markets," Haddadin noted.