Ex­porters set re­quire­ments for de­vel­op­ment of grape ex­ports, put hopes on Chi­nese mar­ket

Grape ex­ports have achieved a boom over the last two years, and we need to grow new va­ri­eties, says Essa

The Daily News Egypt - - Business - By Salim Has­san

Egyp­tian ex­porters have set sev­eral con­di­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of grapes ex­ports in the com­ing sea­sons, while they have put hopes on the agree­ment with China on the en­try of the prod­uct to it start­ing next sea­son.

For­mer head of the Agri­cul­tural Ex­port Coun­cil, Ali Essa, said that ex­ports of grape had achieved a boom in quan­ti­ties over the past two years, which had not been wit­nessed be­fore, as a sign of con­fi­dence of for­eign mar­kets in the Egyp­tian prod­uct.

He added that one of the re­quire­ments for ex­port de­vel­op­ment is the in­ter­est in in­tro­duc­ing new va­ri­eties of grapes and cul­ti­vat­ing them lo­cally, in line with the tastes of con­sumers abroad.

Essa pointed out that the new and in­ter­na­tion­ally traded va­ri­eties in­crease ef­fi­ciency in pro­duc­tiv­ity and qual­ity, thus re­duc­ing the cost of agri­cul­ture, which has wors­ened dur­ing the last pe­riod since the eco­nomic de­ci­sions im­ple­mented by the gov­ern­ment in the fore­front of which is re­duc­ing sub­si­dies on hy­dro­car­bons and in­creas­ing prices of fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides af­ter flota­tion.

He added that the in­tro­duc­tion of new va­ri­eties of grapes meet the re­quire­ments of de­vel­op­ment needs to ac­ti­vate the In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion for the Pro­tec­tion of New Va­ri­eties of Plants (UPOV), es­pe­cially af­ter the ap­proval of the gov­ern­ment and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of­fi­cially.

Chair­man of the Hor­ti­cul­tural Ex­port Im­prove­ment As­so­ci­a­tion


(HEIA) Mohsen El-Belt­agy, said that Egypt was sup­posed to have joined the agree­ment sev­eral months ago by dis­cussing the mat­ter at the last meet­ing, but Egypt sent the pa­pers in­com­plete, which post­poned the dis­cus­sion.

He pointed out that the de­vel­op­ment of grapes ex­ports re­quires con­ti­nu­ity in the sys­tem, which started early last sea­son by mon­i­tor­ing the farms in the process of plant­ing, fer­til­iza­tion, care and dis­eases and how to care to avoid mis­takes in previous sea­sons.

El-Beltay added that the last sea­son has not wit­nessed any com­plaints from Egyp­tian grapes from all the coun­tries they deal with, which raised the value of the crop ex­ter­nally and gave them con­fi­dence in the mar­kets in front of com­pet­ing prod­ucts.

He ex­plained that the lack of com­plaints gives Egypt the po­ten­tial to lift the ban ap­plied by the Euro­pean Union sev­eral years ago, which sub­jects 20% of Egyp­tian prod­ucts to in­spec­tion, which Egypt has of­fi­cially de­manded lately.

He said that the num­ber of reg­is­tered vine­yards in Egypt is over 150 farms, and the door is open to other farms to sub­mit their reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers to co­op­er­ate with HEIA and AEC in the de­vel­op­ment of the sys­tem.

He added that the sec­tor has placed hopes on the Chi­nese mar­ket to in­crease grape ex­ports in gen­eral,which is sim­i­lar to the or­anges af­ter con­tract­ing with them 5 years ago, which started with 5,000 tonnes per sea­son to reach 200,000 tonnes.

Hus­sein He­nawy, head of the Union Pro­duc­ers and Ex­porters of Hor­ti­cul­tural Crops (UPEHC) said the to­tal ex­ports of grapes last sea­son were close to the previous sea­son’s rates at 120,000 tonnes, com­pared to 85,000 tonnes in the 2015 sea­son.

He pointed out that the in­crease in ex­ports needs to ac­ti­vate new agree­ments with some coun­tries that have not yet been in­vaded, es­pe­cially in the East Asia, through the pro­vi­sion of quan­ti­ties of qual­ity re­quired.

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