EghtesadOnline: A total of 4.07 million tons of fruits and vegetables worth $1.59 billion were exported from Iran during the last Iranian year (March 2018-19) to register a 9% and 35% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year.
Iraq, the UAE and Russia were the top three export destinations, Fars News Agency reported.
A total of $921 million worth of fruits and vegetables were exported to Iraq, $153 million to the UAE and $130 to Russia during the period, showing a respective increase of 54.5%, 13.3 and 26.2% year-on-year.
The National Agriculture and Water Strategic Research Center, which reports on Iran's agrifood production, shows more than 517,000 tons of agricultural and food products worth $355 million were exported from Iran last year to register an 18.3% decline in value compared with the year before, according to Financial Tribune.
Agrifood exports accounted for 6.1% and 14% of the total volume and value of Iran's non-oil exports of 8.52 million tons worth $2.54 billion respectively over the period under review.
The exports mainly included vegetables worth $141.9 million (40% of total value of agrifood exports during the period), fruits worth $59.8 million (16.8% of total agrifood exports), milk and dairy products worth $36.24 million (10.2% of total agrifood exports), juice and compote worth $16.8 million (4.7% of total agrifood exports), saffron worth $11.2 million (3.2% of total agrifood exports) and fish and shrimps worth $11 million (3% of total agrifood exports) during the period.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan, the UAE, Turkey, Kuwait, India, Qatar and Azerbaijan were the biggest export destinations in a descending order, as around 90.7% of Iran’s agrifood exports went to these 10 countries.
Each ton of agrifood exports was valued at $614 on average, which is 143.8% more than the price of each ton of non-oil exports ($299).
According to former agriculture minister, Mahmoud Hojjati, Iran meets 85% of its demand for agricultural products domestically and the remaining 15% are provided through imports.
According to the ex-minister, $80 billion worth of agricultural products are produced in Iran annually, $75 billion of which are consumed inside the country.
Director General of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade's Food, Medicine and Toiletries Industries Department Mehdi Sadeqi Niyaraki said 95% of Iran’s food industry are owned by the private sector, noting that the sector accounts for 15% of the country’s industrial employment.