A customer selects vegetables at the Mina fruits and vegetable market in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE authorities have assured that the import ban on fruit and vegetables, which takes effect on Monday, will not lead to any price hikes during Ramadan.

Last month, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) issued an advisory noting that it has “banned imports of certain vegetables and fruits from select countries with effect from May 15, 2017 as those products have been found to contain pesticide residues in excess of permissible limits".

In a statement, the ministry announced that the UAE local market will not be affected by the import ban.

The ban was imposed on imported agricultural products from Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.

Some of the banned foods include:

  • All varieties of pepper from Egypt
  • Pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash, beans and eggplant from Jordan
  • Apples from Lebanon
  • Melons, carrots and watercress from Oman
  • All types of fruit from Yemen

The ministry also affirmed that the ban on these products will not affect the market in terms of quantity or quality, as there are alternative markets for importing these banned products.

As soon as the announcement of banned vegetable was made, “the market immediately responded to the ban by importing products from Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Malaysia, New Zealand, US, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, in addition to Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, and other exporting countries,” said the ministry.

It also stressed its keenness, along with local authorities, to provide healthy and safe food to consumers.

UAE produce

Locally produced vegetables and fruit have not fallen short in meeting demand, with statistics provided by the ministry indicating that so far, the UAE has produced:

  • 18,500 tonnes of zucchini
  • 18,555 tonnes of eggplants
  • 11,320 tonnes of cauliflower
  • 13,420 tonnes of cabbage
  • 4,000 tonnes of pepper
  • 8,000 tonnes of leafy greens, such as arugula and spinach