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Egypt’s fresh orange exports are squeezing out other citrus crops

By Sherif Tarek
Posted on Thursday, 27 May 2021 15:56, updated on Wednesday, 2 June 2021 07:27

A worker collects oranges harvested at a farm in El Nobaria, northeast of Cairo, Egypt December 23, 2020. December 23, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Having leapfrogged Spain recently, Egypt is steadily edging closer to achieving its full potential as the world’s top orange exporter, a widely desirable prospect that might be overshadowing further opportunities to diversify into other high-quality citrus crops and spin-offs.

The Egyptian private sector was allowed to tap into citrus fruits during the late 1980s. Since then, key agricultural producers have increasingly channeled their resources into improving orange production while pushing for opening of new markets such as Brazil and Japan – added as export destinations in recent months.

Exporters are further spurred by a pandemic-induced global demand for the Vitamin C-rich fruit.

Oranges account for approximately 80% of Egypt’s total cultivated citrus area today, and, according to official data, made up over 86% of exported citrus fruit in the 2020/2021 season: that is December 2020 to 30 April.