Egypt has invested heavily in its citrus sector over the past decade, with improved road and port infrastructure that allow large movements of fresh produce by sea. Costly irrigation networks have been built, along with some of the world’s largest desalination plants, with others in the pipeline. All of this has allowed citrus farming to make great strides. Whereas twelve years ago 32,000 hectares were grown, the country now has 122,000 hectares of freshly planted citrus groves.
This low-cost fruit is likely to find its way onto supermarket shelves across Europe, distributed via the port of Rotterdam. Indeed, the Netherlands is already Europe’s biggest citrus exporter despite the fact that the country does not even grow citrus. All of this is particularly concerning for the Spanish and the Italians, who are already beginning to reduce their citrus fruit areas.