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World's most fragile country wants to export fruit and veg

  • World's most fragile country wants to export Fruit and Veg

    by Market Insider

    Wednesday, 22 Jul. 2015

    South Sudan, Africa's newest country and officially the most fragile country in the world, is aiming to start sending fruit to the European market in the near future, provided ongoing talks aimed at establishing a lasting peace following years of conflict prove successful.

    Just four years old, South Sudan has been beset by internal fighting and is currently not permitted to export fresh produce to the EU; as a member of the East African Community it nevertheless does qualify for duty-free entry into the EU under existing trade agreements and in probably few months time the horticultural products from South Sudan will be able to pass through Europe.

    The current political situation has been a setback for exporters since last year when the European Union imposed an economic embargo on the South Sudanese products but the good news is that peace talks are progressing including additional talks with the European Union for the removal of the embargo; the government is updating exporters on the progress of the talks on a bi-weekly basis.

    The country produces relatively small volumes of tomatoes, garlic, bananas and different types of vegetables; while there are no accurate figures detailing the volume exported to Europe, trade links were established with the continent until the embargo was imposed in 2014.

    Currently South Sudan is spending more on imports than it is exporting, mainly because of little investment in the agricultural sector and is now focusing on fruits and vegetables planning to launch the South Sudan Horticultural Exporters Association (SSHEA) which is expected to promote the products targeting more trade with Europe.

    A number of importers, supermarkets and hospitals in Western Europe agreed to regularly purchase horticultural products from South Sudan but the current embargo and conflict still stand on the way; while these are obstacles, the good news is that agreements on phytosanitary matters and other EU export regulations have been reached with the potential clients.

    The African Development Bank and the World Bank have additionally promised to give farmers grants to produce apples, grapes, citrus, sorghum, maize, sugar, tomatoes, bananas and strawberries; all depends now on the peace talks, however in the coming few months the embargo should be lifted as the political leaders are working hard to sign a comprehensive peace agreement.

    Source: Fruitnet

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