EGYPT – Egypt’s agricultural sector is witnessing a significant upswing as exports soared to USD 1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2024, marking a substantial increase of USD 300 million compared to the previous year.

The encouraging figures were revealed by El-Sayed El-Quseir, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, highlighting a robust performance in the country’s agribusiness.

Reports from Zawya indicate that Egyptian agricultural exports surpassed 2.218 million tons during Q1 2024, showcasing a remarkable surge.

Minister El-Quseir attributed this growth to the concerted efforts made over the last decade, including the opening of 95 new markets and diversification of exports to encompass over 400 agricultural products shipped to 160 nations worldwide.

Among Egypt’s leading agricultural exports are citrus fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, garlic, strawberries, beans, guavas, and tomatoes.

Notably, oranges emerged as the top export commodity in terms of both volume and value in 2022, with 1.6 million metric tons valued at USD 635.8 million, according to FAOSTAT data.

Projections from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Cairo anticipate a further surge in fresh orange exports, with estimates indicating a 25% increase to 2.0 million metric tons for the marketing year 2023/24.

This optimistic outlook is attributed to improved yields per hectare, favorable environmental conditions, successful market expansion initiatives, and the implementation of an effective traceability system for farm produce.

During the first quarter of 2024, citrus fruits dominated Egypt’s agricultural exports, with 1.199 million tons shipped, followed by fresh potatoes at 387,603 tons, and beans at 54,110 tons, as reported by Zawya. This underscores the country’s diversified export portfolio and its ability to cater to varied global demand.

The preference for cultivating oranges among Egyptian growers has been steadily increasing, fueled by rising international demand and collaborative efforts between the government and private sector to tap into new markets, particularly in Southeast Asia, according to insights from the USDA.

Netherlands emerges as the primary destination for Egypt’s orange exports, with 88,989 metric tons shipped last year.

This surge in exports to the Netherlands can be attributed to a decline in Moroccan orange exports and unfavorable harvest conditions in Spain.

The USDA’s annual report on Egypt highlights that most orange exporters operate packing facilities sanctioned for export by the government.

Additionally, exporters procure oranges from local farmers to meet export requirements, while some solely own packing facilities and source oranges from local farmers, assuming responsibility for transportation to their facilities.

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