Agricultural exports hit new high

  • Fri, 16 February 2024

Agricultural exports hit new high

Agricultural exports of fresh produce rose by one million tons in 2023 to reach a record 7.4 million tons, generating $3.7 billion, Minister of Agriculture Al-Sayed Al-Qusseir told the Senate on Sunday. Combined, Egypt’s fresh and processed agricultural exports brought in $ 9 billion.

The rise in the volume of agricultural exports reflected an increase in export destinations targeted by private and public producers during the last two years. According to the minister, 406 agricultural products were exported from Egypt to 160 markets in 2023, an increase of 93 destinations on the previous year.

“Egypt has been able to eliminate obstacles standing in the way of agricultural exports by raising quality and offering competitive prices,” said Al-Qusseir. Japan and Brazil were among the newly tapped markets. Al-Qusseir noted “we are now exporting sizable quantities of citrus, grapes, and pomegranate to Japan and potatoes to Brazil.”

Agricultural exports include citrus fruits, potatoes, onions, grapes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, guava, garlic, mango, watermelon, and pomegranates. Egypt has ranked first among exporters in terms of oranges and third in terms of strawberries since 2020.

In 2023, two million tons of citrus, 950,000 tons of potatoes and 412,000 tons of onions were exported.

Giant land reclamation projects implemented by the government contributed to the rise in exports. Projects such as those in Toshka, the New Delta and north and central Sinai have increased Egypt’s cultivated area by more than four million feddans, producing an additional 30 million tons of crops.

The agricultural sector’s contribution to GDP has increased from 12 to 15 per cent in three years, making it an important source of foreign exchange, and employs 25 per cent of Egypt’s labour force.

Al-Khouli highlighted that the volume of agricultural exports in the 2022-23 season reached 5.6 million tons against 4.3 million tons in the previous season, an increase of 29.2 per cent. Arab countries imported 37 per cent of Egypt’s agriculture exports in the 2022/2023 season, yielding $1.3 billion. Agricultural exports to non-EU countries hit $807 million, and exports to the EU reached $917 million.

Russia emerged as a leading importer of Egyptian crops, with approximately 688,000 tons worth $418m, representing 12 per cent of the total of exported produce.