EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 2,356 tons of flowers and ornamental plants worth $5.33 million were exported from Iran to 23 countries during the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 20-June 20), according to the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“Iraq with more than 1,543 tons worth nearly $2.39 million was Iran’s biggest customer over the three-month period, followed by Armenia that purchased 226 tons of plants, Vietnam bought 15 tons of flowers and plants, and the Netherlands imported 5 tons of roses from Iran,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that in the same period, only 28 tons of flowers and ornamental plants worth around $121.172 were imported from Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.
“With the production of 3 billion cut-flowers and ornamental plant pots per year, Iran ranks the world’s 17th biggest producer in this respect. Yet, only 200 million of this volume are sold to overseas customers annually, which gives us the 107th ranking in exports,” he said.
With the elimination of export handicaps, such as high prices of air transportation and lack of flower export terminals and lack of coordination among production, transportation and delivery sectors, Iran can realize its full export potential in the field.
Iran exported $40 million worth of plants and flowers in the last fiscal year that ended on March 19, 2020.
According to Director General of Greenhouses, Medicinal Plants and Edible Mushrooms Office affiliated with the Agriculture Ministry Gholamreza Taqavi, Iraq, Russia, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan were the main export destinations.
“About $15 million worth of flowers and ornamental plants were imported last year. More than 7,800 hectares are under the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants in Iran,” the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to Taqavi, more than 150,000 people are directly or indirectly involved in the Iranian flower industry.
He noted that the outbreak of coronavirus has caused over 17,000 billion rials ($73 million) in losses to businesses in the ornamental plant and flower industry.
“Thanks to the efforts of Agriculture Ministry, businesses involved in ornamental plants and flowers have been introduced to the government as eligible to receive bailout money,” he said.
The Iranian government has approved a 750 trillion-rial package ($3.2 billion) to help low-income households and struggling businesses impacted by the deadly virus. The loans will be given to small- and medium-sized enterprises hit by the pandemic, according to the website of the Central Bank of Iran.
The lending rate will be 12% to be repaid within two years, Abdolnasser Hemmati, the CBI governor, said.
“Even if banks set an 18% interest rate on loans, the real interest rate would still be negative compared to the annual inflation. Any rate below 12% would apparently impose further financial strain on banks. Only businesses that did not lay off workers during the corona crisis would be eligible for the loans,” he said.