File Photo: Guavas seen during a harvest (Photo: Reuters)
Bahrain lifted on Sunday a ban on imports of fresh guava from Egypt, and will resume imports starting next export season (2018/19), Egypt’s agriculture ministry announced.
Egyptian Agriculture Minister Abdel-Moneim El-Banna said that Bahrain’s Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning has officially informed Egypt that its agriculture affairs committee, which falls under the ministry’s Agriculture and Marine Resources agency, recommended in a meeting last week that the ban be lifted.
El-Banna said that Bahrain’s decision came following talks between Cairo and Manama, where Egypt presented its new regulations and inspection measures to ensure the quality of its agricultural exports.
The Egyptian minister described the lifting of the ban as “a new success for Egypt,” adding that his ministry is continuing to demonstrate to different countries Egypt’s more stringent inspection regulations.
Bahrain is the second Gulf country in recent months, after Saudi Arabia, to announce that it has lifted a ban on specific Egyptian agricultural products.
Egypt has been imposing stricter regulations on agricultural exports, introducing a new system under which crops are inspected several times while in the fields, after harvest, and finally after they are prepared for export.
In April, Saudi Arabia lifted a temporary ban on imports of fresh and frozen guava from Egypt, nearly 75 days after the ban was implemented in January 2018.
The ban on guavas was implemented over what the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) said was the presence of pesticide residue that was higher than the global limit.
Egypt is still in talks with Saudi Arabia to lift a ban on Egyptian strawberries, which was implemented in July 2017.
Around 50 percent of Egyptian agricultural exports are to Arab countries, amounting to 1.8 million tonnes of product worth $1 billion annually.
Egypt recorded a 13.9 percent increase in its exports of agricultural products during the first nine months of 2017, with the total amount of exports reaching 4.1 million tonnes compared to 3.6 million the year before, according to official data