Iran‘s pistachio export alarm/policies seem to go wrong, don’t attribute it to the weather!

Iran's pistachio export alarm/policies seem to go wrong, don't attribute it to the weather!

A few days ago, the officials of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad announced that pistachio production has increased from 800,000 tons to 1,400,000 tons in the world in the last ten years. The financial turnover of this product in the world has increased from 2 billion 500 million dollars in 1990 to 3 billion 200 million dollars in 2022, and the share of Iranian pistachios in this global basket is decreasing.

According to them, the main reasons for the decrease in Iran’s pistachio share are climate problems and lack of water, and if we do not pay attention to standardization in warehouses, packaging and labeling of pistachios, the share of this product in the world markets will also decrease.

But experts state more important reasons for the reduction of Iran’s share in the world pistachio market, which is mostly related to wrong policies in the field of foreign trade.

Mohammad Salehi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Pistachio Association, in this regard, emphasizing the unfavorable situation of the country’s pistachio exports, stated: The export of pistachios, which is one of the valuable products of Iran’s agricultural sector, has taken a downward trend and is decreasing rapidly.

He continued: For example, the export of pistachios has decreased from 40,000 to 50,000 tons in October last year to 7,000 to 8,000 tons in October this year.

Salehi believes; Contrary to the claims of the officials of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, the reason for the decrease in pistachio exports is not only related to the decrease in production due to climate change and lack of water.

According to him; What has caused a significant drop in pistachio exports is primarily related to wrong policies in foreign trade and insisting on their continued implementation.

Salehi named these wrong policies as settlement of foreign exchange obligations and added: This policy has caused Iranian pistachios to lose their profitable customers in European countries, because due to sanctions, traders cannot return the currency obtained from pistachio exports to the country in the usual way. Europeans are also not willing to put on our unusual ways because of the legal prohibition.

In response to the question that the officials believe that an important part of this decrease in exports is the result of the decrease in production due to climate change and lack of water, he said: despite the decrease in pistachio production this year due to frost and floods, the lack of pistachio production is not the reason for the decrease in exports.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Iran Pistachio Association added: If policies in the field of foreign trade are amended, there are enough pistachios in the country to meet the needs of foreign customers. Salehi stated: Currently, 150,000 tons of pistachios are not sold in the country due to export problems. According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Pistachio Association, the alarm bell has been ringing for the Iranian pistachio export market for a long time, but the authorities are ignoring it.

I have to say; According to the report of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, the area under pistachio cultivation in the world has increased from 770,000 hectares to 1,100,000 hectares in the last ten years. Turkey has increased pistachio cultivation from 42 thousand hectares to 400 thousand hectares, America from 52 thousand hectares to 150 thousand hectares, and China from 27 thousand hectares to 72 thousand hectares. Meanwhile, in Iran, 432,000 hectares are under pistachio cultivation and 110,000 hectares are under new pistachio orchards.

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