Reduction in Iran’s pistachio production: Pistachio frost damage in 50% of production
Kerman is the pioneer of pistachio production in Iran. According to ILNA; Kerman is one of the vast provinces of Iran that has a variety of climatic conditions and this issue has made it possible to cultivate a variety of agricultural and horticultural products in this province. In the south of Kerman and Jiroft plain, there are all kinds of vegetables and summer crops and in the north of Kerman, there are pistachio orchards. According to the statistics provided by the governor of this province, about 17% of the country’s gardens are in Kerman.
But the main question is whether Kerman, as one of the provinces that is affected by water shortage, has the capacity to cultivate this amount of agricultural products? And how the successive droughts in recent years effect on agricultural production?
Efforts to revive the subterranean canal in south of Kerman
Saeed Barkhouri, head of the Jihad Agricultural Organization of Southern Kerman, in an interview with ILNA economic reporter, referring to the impact of droughts in the Jiroft plain, said: 85 types of crops and horticulture are cultivated in Jiroft; Farmers in Jiroft plain use groundwater, so drought and low rainfall do not affect their activity in the short term and immediately.
The official said that the amount of extraction from groundwater aquifers is too much, adding: Water balance in Jiroft plain has been negative and this plain is one of the forbidden plains and any development of exploitation of groundwater resources in this plain has been prohibited.
Referring to the lack of water in the gardens in the southern heights of Kerman, he added: Gardens were irrigated by surface water, springs and canals, which are affected by water stress due to reduced rainfall; Orchards in summer areas are severely affected by drought. These orchards include walnut, pistachio, apricot and cherry orchards.
The head of the Jihad Agricultural Organization of South Kerman, in response to the question whether he has provided funds for transfer to farmers, answered: Credits for water transfer through pipes and ruby layer of canals have been considered in the Jihad Agricultural Organization, although this credit is not significant.
According to Barkhori; 35% of the lands in the south of Kerman are equipped with modern irrigation systems, which is 10% more than the national average.
He considered Kerman as one of the most stressful provinces in the field of water and added: Pistachios do not need much water and are grown in the north of Kerman province, in the south of Kerman vegetables and summer crops are grown in winter.
The official continued: We followed the development of greenhouses with the aim of reducing water consumption in Kerman province. Currently, Kerman has the most greenhouses after Tehran. In greenhouses, water consumption is reduced due to reduced evaporation and the amount of water consumed is not comparable to the products you get.
According to Barkhori; 2,600 hectares of greenhouses have been built in the south of Kerman.
Reduction of pistachio production due to spring cold
In an interview with ILNA Economic Reporter, Mohammad Salehi, President of the Iranian Pistachio Association, said that the damage caused by frost to the country’s pistachio orchards was more than 50 percent and said: Drought and water shortages have reduced pistachio production in Kerman province; In addition to reducing rainfall, the volume of groundwater has also decreased, so we can not do long-term planning to increase pistachio production in Kerman.
This economic activist continued: During these Two years, following the spring frosts, it destroyed the pistachio crop and imposed high costs on farmers.
Referring to the production of pistachios, he said: 150,000 tons of pistachios were produced last year, of which about 100,000 tons are exported and it is predicted that by the end of October, about 25,000 to 28,000 tons will be consumed domestically and another 20,000 tons will be exported.
According to Salehi; Decreasing the purchasing power of the people has nothing to do with price. In fact, the lack of growth in the income of the people in relation to inflation has reduced the purchasing power of the society.
The head of the Iranian Pistachio Association stated: Pistachios can be packaged for export in the country, but since the import and customs tariffs for pistachios are high, they are exported in bulk.
Referring to the countries targeted for pistachio exports, he added: The main exporters are China, the European Union, India, Russia and the Persian Gulf countries. In April of this year, we exported about three thousand tons of pistachios.
Salehi estimated the export price of pistachios at 7 to 10 dollars per kilogram and added: We have about five samples of pistachios in the country, each of which has five or six sizes, and we have a total of 27 to 28 types and sizes of pistachios in the country, the price of pistachios varies depending on the type and size. “In my opinion, the price of pistachios has not increased much compared to inflation; Exchange rate fluctuations are one of the main determinants of pistachio prices inside and outside the country.”
He told that the United States is Iran’s most important competitor in pistachio production and added: Last year, about 500,000 tons of pistachios were produced in the United States, which is much higher than our production of 150,000 tons of pistachios. Currently, the United States ranks first in pistachio production in the world.
This economic activist stated in the end: It is possible to grow this product in desert areas, although pistachios are produced in 27 provinces of the country, but when there is not enough water, we can not hope to develop production.