EghtesadOnline: A total of 147,000 tons of olives have been produced on 92,000 hectares of plantations since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 21, 2019, to register a 43% year-on-year rise, according to the manager of “Olive Project” implemented by the Agriculture Ministry’s Horticulture Department.
“A total of 11,647 tons of olive oil have been extracted from around 50% of this amount of production, which shows an 80% YOY rise,” Rahmatollah Parichehr was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The rest have been brined, Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Parichehr noted that the annual domestic demand for olive oil currently stands at close to 15,000 tons, adding that more than 3,000 tons of olive oil are imported annually.
Olive oil is mainly imported from Turkey, Italy, Spain and Greece.
At present, some 40,000 Iranians earn their living through olive cultivation.
According to the Agriculture Ministry’s head of the Expansion and Improvement of Olive Orchards Group, Mahmoud Emami, per capita olive oil consumption in Iran currently stands at 180 grams per year, up from 135 grams last year, while in Europe the average amount is close to 11 kg.
The average world per capita olive oil consumption is at 430 grams—about three times more than in Iran.
However, Iranians eat more olive in brine, Emami said, such that per capita consumption in Iran stands at 850 grams against 360 grams in the world.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to increase annual olive production to around 200,000 tons by 2022 and increase per capita consumption of olive oil to 190 grams per year.
Leading olive growing regions in Iran include Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Qazvin, Gilan, Golestan and Zanjan provinces.