EghtesadOnline: Some 10,000 tons of dates have been exported from the southern Bushehr Province since the beginning of the harvest season around two months ago.
According to the commercial affairs deputy of Bushehr Industries, Mining and Trade Organization, Qasem Mohammadzadeh, the main export destination for dates cultivated in Bushehr were Russia, Ukraine and India during the period, IRNA reported on Thursday.
"The exports are expected to reach 30,000 tons by the fiscal yearend (March 20, 2019)," he added, stressing that the figure will account for 20% of the province’s total date production, which stands at 150,000 tons per year.
Iran annually produces nearly 1.2 million tons of different kinds of dates, of which close to 20% worth around $300 million are exported, Financial Tribune quoted the Chairman of the National Association of Iranian Dates Mohsen Rashid Farrokhi as saying.
Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia are the world's biggest producers of date with 1.4 million tons, 1.2 million tons and 1.1 million tons per year respectively.
"Yet, Iran is the biggest exporter of the crop," he told us in an interview last year, adding that Egypt ranks second with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia sharing the third spot.
He noted that the government has a five-year plan to increase the share of exports from domestic producers to 30%.
More than 230 hectares of date plantations produce 12 types of dates.
Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan, Kerman, Fars, Bushehr, Khuzestan, Ilam, Kermanshah, Yazd, South Khorasan and Isfahan top the list of Iranian provinces that cultivate dates.