Israel received official authorization to export fruit and vegetables to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry announced. The authorization follows a series of meeting and coordination between Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Alon Schuster, ministry employees and the UAE ministry for climate change and the environment.
The ministry hopes to begin exports by early November.
Israel faces intense competition in the European export market, according to the ministry, which makes the possibility to export to the UAE a significant opportunity for Israeli vegetable growers. This is especially true given the fact that the UAE market is based on imports and agricultural imports to the UAE are valued around $10 billion a year.
"This is wonderful news for Israel's farmers," said Schuster. "The agreement that we signed with the UAE is moving us forward and into a joint future in the field of agriculture."
The ministry analyzed the potential export opportunities to the UAE and found that it has a lot of potential for Israeli exports. Due to Israel's proximity to the UAE, Israel can be a competitive exporter. Additionally, 80% of agricultural consumption is of imported goods and there is a demand for healthy, organic produce.
Schuster called on more budgets to be allocated to agriculture so that Israel's ability to produce and Israel's technology and knowledge along with "the work ethic of Israeli farmers" can provide "an excellent way for the UAE to reach food security."