EghtesadOnline: Iran’s greenhouse tomato output is predicted to reach 333,883 tons by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2020), the director general of Agriculture Ministry’s Greenhouse, Medicinal Plants and Edible Mushroom Bureau said.
Gholamreza Taqavi added that the country produced over 333,000 tons of greenhouse tomatoes last year (March 2018-19) on 1,200 hectares.
Speaking to IRNA, he noted that Iran’s total annual tomato output surpasses 5.6 million tons. Greenhouse tomatoes have a 6% share in the country’s overall tomato production.
Iran plans to expand greenhouse cultivation, as greenhouse tomato production is targeted to reach 682,000 tons by 2022, Financial Tribune reported.
Taqavi said Iran is the world’s seventh biggest tomato producer.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, global tomato output amounted to 177.04 million tons in 2016.
Global statistics show China, the US, India, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Spain, Mexico and Russia are the world’s biggest tomato producers while Spain, Italy and Greece are the major exporters of processed tomatoes.
Yazd Province is Iran’s top tomato producer with 76,000 tons, followed by the provinces of Bushehr with 51,000 tons, Hormozgan with 48,000 tons, Isfahan with 31,000 tons, East Azarbaijan with 20,000 tons, Markazi with 15,000 tons, Khuzestan with 12,000 tons, Kerman with 9,700 tons, Hamedan with 9,600 tons and Khorasan Razavi with 9,000 tons per year.
The biggest month-on-month price rise for a food item during the month ending Nov. 21 was recorded for tomatoes with 55.5%. A kilogram of tomatoes was sold at 39,699 rials (31 cents) during the period under review.
The considerable rise in tomatoes reportedly stemmed from the vegetable’s shortage in the domestic market.
“With the aim of regulating the domestic market, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has imposed duties on tomato export as of Dec. 21,” director general of the ministry's Economic and Commercial Policies Office, Mohammad Reza Kalami Bajestan, said recently.
According to Asadollah Kargar, the head of Fruit and Vegetable Sellers Union, besides the shortage, other reasons behind the rising prices of tomatoes include frostbite, rise in transportation costs and unregulated exports.
According to the head of the Iranian National Union of Agricultural Products, Reza Nourani, Iran has been exporting tomatoes to Pakistan in recent weeks.
Last year, the export of tomatoes, except for those produced in greenhouses, was banned amid shortages in the domestic market and the ensuing rise in prices.
The ban was subsequently lifted after supply was restored to the market.