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  • Iran: Pistachio acreage is shrinking every year

    Sep 8th, 2017

    Every year, Iran loses about 8-12 thousand hectares of pistachio plantations due to lack of water and soil salinity, reports the head of the Iran Pistachio Association. "The acreage devoted to the cultivation of pistachios in Iran is currently about 350 thousand hectares, while during the 2000's this figure stood at over 400 thousand hectares," stated Mohsen Jalalpur.The Kerman province, in south eastern Iran, is the largest producer of pistachios in the country. There was a time when the province produced 70% of all Iranian pistachios, but now its share has dropped to just 30% due to a severe water crisis.

    "Pistachios are currently grown in 19 provinces across the country, all of which face practically identical problems," said the head of the association. According to Mohsen Jalalpur, who previously was the chairman of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mining and Agriculture, about 150,000 tonnes of pistachios worth $ 1.5 billion are expected to be exported from Iran during the current Iranian year 1396 (which began on 21 March 2017). According to his estimations, exports will grow by 11% and 25% in terms of volume and price, respectively, compared with last year, when 135 thousand tonnes of the product worth about 1.2 billion dollars were exported. He believes that production this year will reach 235 thousand tonnes, which will be 38% more than last year's 170 thousand tonnes.

    According to the official, Iran is the second largest pistachio producer in the world, only behind the United States, and the main exporter of this product. According to the Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade of Iran, Mojtaba Khosrottaj, Iran supplies more than 50% of its pistachios to the global market.In the first four months of the current fiscal year 1396 (21 March-22 July 2017), about 16,700 tonnes of pistachios worth $ 173.66 million have been exported from Iran to 56 countries, including the United States, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Canada, Qatar, Switzerland, France, Poland, Sweden, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Thailand, Japan, Romania and Hong Kong.