EghtesadOnline: Every year between 8,000 and 12,000 hectares of Iran’s pistachio orchards are lost due to water shortage and soil salinity, the head of Iran Pistachio Association said.
“Land under pistachio cultivation in Iran currently amounts to close to 350,000 hectares while during 2000s, the figure stood at more than 400,000 hectares,” Mohsen Jalalpour was also quoted as saying by Eranico.
Kerman Province in southeast Iran is the country’s biggest producer of pistachio. The province once accounted for 70% of Iran’s pistachio production, but now produces only 30% of all the pistachio grown in the country due to a severe water crisis.
“Pistachio is currently cultivated in 19 provinces across the country, all of which are more or less dealing with the same issues,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
According to Jalalpour, who is also former chairman of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mining and Agriculture, about 150,000 tons of pistachio worth $1.5 billion are estimated to be exported from Iran during the current Iranian year (started March 21), to register an 11% and 25% growth in weight and value respectively compared with last year when 135,000 tons of the product worth around $1.2 billion were exported, IRNA reported.
Production, he said, is expected to reach 235,000 tons this year to register more than a 38% rise compared with last year’s 170,000 tons.
According to the official, Iran is the second biggest producer of pistachio after the US and the top exporter of the product. According to Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mojtaba Khosrowtaj, Iran supplies more than 50% of the world pistachio market.
Close to 16,660 tons of pistachio worth $173.66 million were exported from Iran to 56 countries, including the United States, Ukraine, the UAE, Italy, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, Canada, Qatar, Switzerland, France, Poland, Sweden, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Thailand, Japan, Romania and Hong Kong, in the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22).