(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Jordan's exports of agricultural produce to Syria have fallen to almost "zero" recently due to the ongoing violence sweeping the Kingdom's northern neighbour, an agriculture official said on Wednesday.
Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said the government had not decided to halt exports of fruits and vegetables to Syria, but private truck drivers had decided on their own to stop carrying Jordanian fruits and vegetables to Syria out of concern for their own safety.
"Not a single shipment of Jordanian fruits and vegetables has entered Syria over the past few days," the official told The Jordan Times over the phone.
Earlier this week, Haddadin said Jordan's exports to Turkey and Europe via Syria had come to a complete halt also explaining that most trucks carrying Jordanian fruits and vegetables through Syria and then to Turkey and Europe are owned by Turks and used to come through the Bab Al Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria, which is now completely closed.
According to ministry figures, in normal circumstances Jordan exports 180,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Syria, at a value of around JD40 million annually. President of the Jordan Truck Owners Association Mohammad Dawood told The Jordan Times that overland cargo movement between Jordan and Syria had reached "zero", with barely a single truck leaving Jordan for Syria or vice versa.
"The escalating violence is discouraging drivers from risking their lives and properties to go to Syria," Dawood said.
According to official figures, between 300 and 400 freight trucks used to enter the Kingdom through Syria on a daily basis.