Ministry of Agriculture opens direct sea route from Syria to Russia to market citrus crop abroad

DAMASCUS, (ST)- With the purpose of marketing the citrus fruits crop abroad, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched the Quality Accreditation Program and opened a direct sea route from Syria to Russia and to engage senior exporters in the marketing process.

Director of the ministry's Citrus Office, Eng. Suheil Hamdan told SANA that Syria's production of citrus fruits this year reached around a million tons, 230 tons are from Tartous and the rest are from Lattakia. This crop constitutes the basic source of income for 50,000 families, working in farming citrus trees, in addition to hundreds of thousands of people who work indirectly in the crop's harvesting, transporting and marketing.

He pointed out that the surplus of this production is estimated at half a million tons.

 "The launched Quality Accreditation Program, approved recently by the Cabinet, contributes to the access of our production of citrus fruits to the Arab and international markets in accordance with an integrated marketing map," said Hamdan, stressing the importance of inviting senior exporters to be engaged in this process in order to market as a big quantity of citrus production as possible.

On his part, Director General of the Local Production and Exports Support and Development Agency Ibrahim Mida said that the agency is working to set a long and medium-term strategy to export citrus production.

"We contacted our ambassador in Iraq and met with prominent Iraqi businessmen and importers to increase the exported quantities, particularly after the al-Boukamal border crossing between Iraq and Syria was opened," Mida made it clear.

He added that a direct sea route from Lattakia port to Russia was also opened for the shipment of citrus.

 Hamda Mustafa