Egypt to Become Regional Leader in Export of Fruit Juices and Products28 Sep 2010 • by Natalie Aster
The area of arable land in Egypt is confined to the Nile Valley and delta, with a few oases and some agriculturally appropriate land in Sinai. The total cultivated area spreads over 7.2 million feddans (1 feddan = 0.42 ha), that accounts for only 3% of the total land area. Except for some rain-fed areas on the Mediterranean coast the entire arable crop area in the country is irrigated. The Nile is an exceptional source of water, and soil near the Nile is generally of excellent quality. Nevertheless fruit and vegetables production is expanding nowadays with the fruit-planted area rising in acreage. Over the last three decades it has reached about 200 000 feddans.
Among Southern Mediterranean Countries Egypt ranks first as a producer of fresh fruits. Egypt offers fresh fruits and vegetables both for export and for the domestic market. In Egypt fresh fruits are available all year round at reasonable prices. Traditional Egyptian diet is composed primarily of fresh leafy vegetables and a rich fruits plate. A wide range of fruits and vegetables are cultivated in the country and it is worthy to note that most of them sell at prices within reach of all. The fresh fruits and vegetables offered by Egyptian producers are abundant in vitamin A and B and varying amounts of carotenes depending on their species.
Major fruit commodities in Egypt are citrus fruit, watermelon, table grapes, dates, and etc. Citrus is the most important fruit in Egypt in terms of its acreage, production and exportation potentials. Citrus, primarily oranges that represent 85% of total citrus production, makes up 50% of total fruit production in Egypt.
Other subtropical fruits are also grown in Egypt, including melons (18,7% of the total fruit market), grapes (12,7%), dates (11%), bananas (8,8%), stone fruits and pome fruits.
The size of the market for fresh fruit in Egypt has demonstrated notable growth over the last five years. Thus the production value grew up to 12,8 mln tons in 2009 from about 10 mln tons in 2005. The export volumes reached the peak in 2008 (more than 583,5 thousand tons), the year of 2009 saw a decline, however demonstrated significant growth over the rates of 2005.
Large amounts of juice are manufactured within the overall fruits industry in Egypt. The country ranks as a major exporter of fruit juices on the global market. According to analytical forecasts, Egypt can become the regional leader in the export of fruit juices and products. Today the producers are working upon diversifying their product lines to offer new types of juices and following professional estimations it should be highlighted that Egypt's potential for market expansion of fruit juice totals to as much as US$ 730 million by 2020.
More information on the Egyptian fruit market may be found in the report Fresh Fruit Market in Egypt: Business Report 2010 recently published by TD The Market Publishers, Ltd.
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