Farmers Urge End to UAE Produce Import Ban

Farmers are urging the government to pressure the UAE to lift an import ban on Jordanian fruits and vegetables. This was imposed last month after a shipment was found to have unacceptably high levels of pesticide residue.

“If samples of a certain shipment showed that toxicity levels are not within the standards, that doesn’t mean that all of Jordan’s fruits and vegetables are not safe or below standards,” President of the Jordan Valley Farmers Union, Adnan Khaddam, told The Jordan Times. “We also urge the government to tackle the issue through diplomatic channels, as it affects the survival of the agricultural sector.”

The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment ordered a halt to Jordanian produce imports on May 15. Other states covered by the ban include Egypt, Oman, Lebanon and Yemen. Shortly after, Qatar followed suit.

The countries hit by the ban have been asked to provide a certificate of analysis of pesticide residues. This is for all other vegetables and fruits stating that they are free of such residues as of the ban date, the UAE’s Gulf News reported, adding the ban would continue until the necessary safety requirements were met.

Jordan’s Ministry of Agriculture said it is tightening regulations surrounding the use of pesticides in farming. Certain pesticides have been banned for use on crops like cauliflower and lettuce.

Gulf markets are vital for Jordan’s agricultural sector, consuming around 83 percent of its total annual production, according to the ministry.