Egypt looks to hire international inspectors to examine agricultural cargo marked for export
The Agricultural Exports Council is looking to hire Spanish or Dutch inspectors to examine Egyptian cargo for residual pesticides before it’s shipped for export, council head Abdel Hamid El Demerdash tells Al Borsa. Negotiations are ongoing with labs from both countries that have already submitted offers and an agreement will be signed soon, he added, explaining that the newly-hired lab will work in conjunction with local inspectors to ensure the quality of exported Egyptian produce. A single sample will cost between EGP 1,400-1,500 to examine, he also said. The news comes one day after Saudi Arabia declared a temporary ban on imports of Egyptian guavas due to above-average levels of pesticide residues.
Egyptian quarantine authorities have not received official notice of Saudi’s guava ban, Agricultural Ministry spokesman Hamed Abdel Dayem said yesterday. Saudi Arabia had banned Egyptian peppers last December — prompting the UAE and Kuwait to follow suit — and then slapped a separate ban on Egyptian strawberries in July, after both products were found to contain high levels of residual pesticides. Since then, the Agriculture Ministry has been imposing more stringent quality assurance measures on exports to the GCC and had said in July that guava shipments would be subject Global Good Agricultural Practices standards as of this season. A fact-finding mission from Saudi is reportedly visiting the country soon to determine whether or not to lift the ban on strawberries and peppers.