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Citrus produce helps Egypt agricultural exports rise

Citrus fruits were Egypt's largest agricultural export, and its orange exports are predicted to reach 2 million tonnes Alamy via Reuters
Citrus fruits were Egypt's largest agricultural export, and its orange exports are predicted to reach 2 million tonnes
  • 7.5m tonnes exported in 2023
  • Citrus accounted for almost half
  • 924,000 hectares reclaimed

The value of Egypt’s agricultural exports in the first five months of 2024 rose 24 percent year on year, following greater land allocation for produce such as oranges and potatoes.

The minister of agriculture and land reclamation, Mohamed Al Sayed Al Quseir, told reporters on Thursday that more than 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce, worth around $2.6 billion, had been exported this year, up from just over 4 million tonnes, worth roughly $2 billion, during the same period last year.

Egypt exported a record 7.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce in 2023, worth almost $9 billion, up from 6.4 million tonnes in 2022 and 5.6 million in 2021.

Al Quseir said citrus accounted for nearly half of all exports, at nearly 2 million tonnes. In 2023 Egypt was the world’s largest exporter of oranges.

A US Department of Agriculture report predicts Egyptian orange exports will be 25 percent higher in the coming financial year than in the previous one, hitting 2 million tonnes for the first time.

The other major export crops during the first five months of this year included potatoes, onions, green beans, sweet potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, strawberries, garlic, guavas and pomegranates.

Al Quseir attributed the “unprecedented surge” in agricultural exports to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s large-scale land reclamation projects.

Earlier this year, Sisi inaugurated the first phase of the Future of Egypt project, which seeks to reclaim 2.2 million feddans (924,000 hectares) of land for agricultural use.

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