AMMAN: The Kingdom is exporting 400 tonnes of watermelon and melon daily to several countries, mainly the Gulf states, a government official said on Thursday.
Agricultural exports are set to increase as production is expected to peak soon, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said, adding that different kinds of summer fruits and vegetables are also being exported to Iraq and the Gulf.
“In addition, 600 tonnes of peaches and apricots are exported daily to the Gulf and Iraq,” Haddadin told The Jordan Times. Growing demand for summer fruits in Gulf states is compensating for the losses incurred by farmers and exporters after Jordan closed its borders with Syria in early April, particularly since the bulk of local watermelons used to be exported to Lebanon via Syria.
Watermelons are annually cultivated on 2,800 dunums in Ghor Al Safi in the Jordan Valley, with each dunum producing five tonnes, while melons are planted annually on 3,400 dunums of land, with each dunum yielding four tonnes according to the Agriculture Ministry. Haddadin noted that the country also exports 16 tonnes of strawberries by air daily, as well as 10 tonnes of okra, to the United Kingdom, France and several other European countries.