The Dakahlia Agricultural Development Company aims to increase its exports by 30% this year through increasing the quantities exported to its present markets.
Khalid Anany, deputy chairperson of the company, said that exports reached $25m last year, with plans to grow that by 30% by the end of the current year.
He explained that the company exported about 25,000 tonnes of potatoes, 20,000 tonnes of citrus, 3 tonnes of grapes, 2,000 tonnes of onions, and 1,000 tonnes of raisins, adding that last year saw the export of the first quantities of processed potatoes.
Furthermore, potato prices are expected to increase during this season due to the decline in cultivated areas in Europe and the shortage of seed production on a global scale and the doubling of prices. Moreover, the company plans to increase the cultivated area of potatoes by about 20%.
Anany added that the increase in the number of exporters during the last citrus season led to a decrease in the price of the Egyptian citrus product by a substantial percentage. Therefore, there is a need to have an official source which can direct exporters toward the markets which can absorb Egyptian products, and a minimum commitment to export in order to reduce the decreasing price of the product.
The Dakahlia Agricultural Development Company has four large stations, including a sorting station and packing potatoes with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes, 20,000 tonnes of citrus, and 5,000 tonnes of grapes per season, highlighted the company deputy chairperson.
In addition, he pointed out that the company is at this stage exporting to about 50 countries, including Europe and the Far East and some African countries and targets to expand in North Africa and North America during 2019.
Exporting to different markets needs a thorough study by the concerned sector, as random exporting hurts companies and the reputation of the Egyptian product in the end, he emphasised.
Anany explained that the largest obstacles facing the Egyptian exporter are the absence of trade agreements between multiple countries, especially as trade agreements offer member countries many advantages such as customs exemption, which affords a competitive advantage.
He added that the company also offers its products in the domestic market with 15% of them distributed to the major department stores, while 85% of the products are exported.
Noteworthy, He stressed the importance of foreign exhibitions and their role in increasing exports, so the company is keen to participate in several important exhibitions, including Food Africa, Anuga, Sial World Food, and Fruit Logistica and other exhibitions that attract the attention of foreign customers.
Anany clarified that the cost of participation in foreign exhibitions has increased in the recent period after the Export Development Authority reduced the subsidies, which affects the ability of companies to participate.
What’s more, he revealed that the company imports about 90% of its needs of packaging materials because of the lower price, compared to the domestic product, by rates ranging between 10 and 15%.
The Dakahlia Agricultural Development Company has been working in Egypt for 20 years to provide high quality products in the region.