SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

Saida’s farmers call for reopening Saudi market for agricultural crops

Saida is well known for its citrus orchards, vegetables and fruits. These orchards are considered the city’s green lungs and the source of its fragrant breeze, despite urbanization that has invaded Saida. Its distinctive, unique, and high quality fruits have been demanded across the world, and exported to many countries.

An agricultural property owner told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Sarah Chehadeh, “Cultivation is our profession that we have inherited from our father and grandfather.” She added that Saida is famous for its distinctive citrus fruits and vegetables, which is exported to the Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, and UAE.”

Farmers appeal Saudi Arabia to reconsider the decision taken to halt agricultural imports from Lebanon, considering that it is a great loss for Lebanon. “We have the whole respect and appreciation to Saudi Arabia and all the Gulf countries, and that’s why we will keep hoping that it will retract its decision,” she said.

She added that the crisis the country is going through is impacting the farmers severely, as the majority of agricultural supplies required for cultivation are purchased in fresh dollars, such as pesticides, fertilizers, seeds and others.  “That’s why farmers are seeking to sell their crops in fresh dollars,” she said.

Another farmer said: “The decision of halting exports to Saudi Arabia has affected us brutally, as we used to export large quantities of bananas, loquat, and oranges to these markets.”

Although the country is dealing with its largest peacetime financial, economic, and political crisis, officials and politicians do not care about keeping friendly relations, but rather offending the country, and sabotaging ties with the world, therefore we will lose our export and import markets.