EghtesadOnline: Every day 3,000 tons of apples are exported from West Azarbaijan Province, according to the head of the provincial Agricultural Jihad Organization.
“Our main export destinations are Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Russia and other neighbors,” Rasoul Jalili was quoted by IRNA as saying.
Almost 1.1 million tons of apples have been produced in the northwestern province in the current fiscal year that ends in March, Financial Tribune reported.
“Close to 50,000 tons was sold internally, 350,000 tons went to caning industries and 700,000 tons are in the cold storages.”
Jalili singled out high tariffs in some export destinations, mandatory foreign currency repatriation, lack of subsidies and export incentives and a shortage of refrigerated trucks as the main obstacles to apple exports.
“Problems associated with apple production are many, namely non-industrial methods of harvesting, high production costs, climate change, cold spells, lack of funding for orchard renovation and the fact that producers do not grow new varieties. These handicaps have to be eliminated if we want to boost production.”
West Azarbaijan produces more than 6 million tons of agricultural products on 800,000 hectares of rain-fed and irrigated land every year. Some 230,000 people make their living from farms and orchards.