Trucks carrying large amounts of produce destined for Saudi Arabia are now stuck in Lebanon after the Saudi authorities imposed a ban on produce imports from Lebanon.
The ban came in force just hours after they foiled a smuggling attempt from Lebanon into the Saudi Kingdom of a large quantity of drugs concealed in a shipment of pomegranates.
Clean shipments of Lebanon’s produce that were already on their way are now stuck on the roads.
“We have 40 trucks stuck on the roads that were on their way to Saudi Arabia before the decision was made,” Ibrahim Tarshishi, Head of the Beqaa Farmers Association, told Al-Jadeed on Tuesday.
He said these trucks are carrying a total load of around 1,000 tonnes of Lebanese produce ready for export.
On Sunday, at 9 AM, a decision to ban fruit and vegetable consignments from Lebanon from entering or transitioning through Saudi territory came into force.
The decision has raised concerns about its potential impact on the Lebanese economy, which is already crumbling under an unprecedented financial crisis.
Notably, an expected side-effect of this move is a lowered price of these products on the local market.
“On the first of May, the import of agricultural goods usually stops, due to the abundance of their production in Lebanon,” Tarshishi said.
“With this decision, the market will be flooded with Lebanese goods in their season, which will lead to a significant decrease in their prices,” he added.