AMMAN, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Although the border crossing between Jordan and Syria was officially reopened in mid October 2018, Jordan's agricultural sector does not benefit from the move, experts said.
Jordan has not exported a single kg of fruits or vegetables to neighboring Syria since the border crossing was repened, said Adnan Khaddam, president of Jordan Valley Farmers Union.
"We thought the reopening of the borders will be a win-win situation. But obviously it is not, as the Syrian farmers benefited more. The continuation of this situation means more losses to Jordanian farmers," Khaddam told Xinhua.
"We will lose more in the summer when their produce is exported to the Gulf states and this means they are competing with our farmers who lost millions of dinars over the past years," he added.
Before 2011, Jordan's agricultural exports to Syria exceeded 60 ,000 metric tonnes per year, according to Zuhair Jweihan, vice president of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Society for Fruits and Vegetables.
Jordan also exported more than 60 ,000 metric tonnes of produce to Russia, eastern European countries and Turkey via Syria before the border closure, Jweihan said.
In April 2015, Jordan closed the Jaber border crossing with Syria for security reasons. Passenger and cargo traffic was halted as a result of the escalating violence in the Syrian town of Nasib across the border, some 60 km north of Amman.
Hosam Ayesh, a Jordanian economist, said the reopening of the borders provided opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Jordanians to visit Syria for work or holiday, but the agricultural sector did not benefit.
"It seems that there are many obstacles in Syria and several measures that hamper the flow of Jordanian agricultural produce to Syria," Ayesh told Xinhua.
"The reopening of the crossing should bring benefits for the two sides as currently farmers in Jordan are losing and the Syrian agricultural produce swarmed the local market for a while after the border reopened," he said.
Jweihan told Xinhua that there is no demand for Syrian traders but "obstacles" for Jordanian produce exporters.
"Jordan allowed Syrian agricultural produce to enter the Jordanian market and since the border reopening, scores of Syrian trucks loaded with fruits and vegetables such as onions or apples have entered Jordan, which is unfair to us," he told Xinhua.