EghtesadOnline: The purchase of black grapes, grown in 9,100 hectares of Kurdestan Province, has been guaranteed by the Organization of Rural Cooperatives of Kurdestan in the current Iranian year (March 2017-18).
Ahmad Zakariai-Nejad, an official with the organization, said the measure is aimed at tackling the biggest challenge facing local farmers, that is marketing, the Persian daily Shahrvand reported. By purchasing black grapes at a guaranteed price and delivering them to populous provinces like Tehran, the Organization of Rural Cooperatives of the Agriculture Ministry seems to be willing to both win over the farmers and consolidate jobs in the province. “The organic farming of black grapes in Kurdestan and their exceptional quality could make the fruit a global brand whereas, as we speak, only one-third of the production is being exported to European countries such as Armenia,” he said. As many as 13,000 farmers make a living by growing grapes in Kurdestan. They raise an average of 6 tons per hectare and have made their province a major producer of grapes in Iran. About 96,000 tons of grapes, including 50,000 tons of black grapes, are expected to be produced in Kurdestan this year. Zakariai-Nejad said lack of agro-processing industries and hurdles to exports are the main challenges facing agriculture in Kurdestan, adding that Kurdestan’s Organization of Agricultural Jihad is seeking to register Kurdestan’s organic black grapes as a global brand, according to Financial Tribune.