EghtesadOnline: Pistachio farmers in Kerman Province have incurred losses of 30 trillion rials ($227 million) so far in the current Iranian year (started March 21) due to a drastic decline in production, the head of Northern Kerman Agricultural Jihad Organization.
“It was estimated that 70,000 tons of pistachios would be harvested this year. Yet we have lost 90% of this amount to water shortage, climate change and high temperatures,” Abbas Saeedi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Kerman has long been the hub of pistachio production in Iran.
Last crop year’s pistachio production in Iran, according to Mahmoud Abtahi, the head of Iran Pistachio Association, stood at 225,000 tons, indicating more than a 47% rise compared with the preceding year’s 153,000 tons, according to Financial Tribune.
“This year, production is estimated to see a drastic fall and reach between 50,000 tons and 55,000 tons due to the heatwave in the spring, causing damage to pistachio orchards on top of the persisting water shortage,” he told Financial Tribune in July.
The pistachio tree is an alternate bearing one, meaning it may produce a greater than average amount of crop one year, called “on-year”, and a lower than average amount the following year, called “off-year”.
Abtahi says this year is going to be a bad off-year.
The official was of the opinion that water crisis and salinity are not the main issues. He noted that farmers across the country are struggling with water shortage, but this does not mean that cultivation of different crops will come to an end altogether.
“Production of the nut will surely decline, but this does not mean Kerman’s pistachio industry will be lost,” he said.