As part of a growing trend, Egypt recorded a 13.9 percent increase in its exports of agricultural products during the first nine months of 2017, agriculture ministry spokesman Hamid Abdel Dayim said on Sunday, according to Reuters.
The total amount of exports reached 4.1 million tonnes compared to 3.6 million last year.
Since the country’s Central Bank liberalized the currency in November 2016, Egyptian agricultural exporters have reported a sharp rise in demand for local produce.
Particularly exports of products such as grapes, potatoes and strawberries have seen a rise, said Dayim.
The surge in agricultural exports can largely be attributed to the fact that, after floating the pound, exporters have been able to offer more competitive pricing, with many businesses venturing into new foreign markets.
Meanwhile, exporters have been calling for reforms in the agricultural sector to better leverage the current competitive price advantage. Reforms they are calling for include the establishment of a supreme council for exports that would implement policies aiming to encourage exports and promote stronger trade representation of Egyptian products abroad.
In August, Abdel Hamid al-Demerdash, the head of Egypt’s Agriculture Export Council said that Egypt is trying to lift a number of bans on Egyptian agricultural products that other countries have imposed due to concerns over pesticide residues.
“We hope that these countries return to importing from Egypt before the beginning of the new export season,” said Demerdash, Reuters reported.
Agricultural products are one of Egypt’s largest export sectors, representing approximately 10 percent of total exports. Every year, the country exports around 1.8 million tonnes of fruit and 1.4 million tonnes of vegetables.
The country has recently been trying to expand its exports to new markets around the world, including in Asia, Africa, Canada and Australia.