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Iran's pistachio plantation declines due to water shortage

Staff Writer | September 5, 2017
Iran is losing pistachio orchards due to a water crisis and soil salinity, Mohsen Jalalpour, head of Iran Pistachio Association, was quoted as saying.
Iran pistachio
Food production   Iran exported some 135,000 tons of pistachio
Every year between 8,000 and 12,000 hectares of Iran's pistachio orchards are lost due to the above-mentioned issues, the Financial Tribune daily quoted Jalalpour as saying.

"Land under pistachio cultivation in Iran currently amounts to close to 350,000 hectares, while during the 2000s the figure stood at more than 400,000 hectares," Jalalpour said.

Kerman Province in southeast Iran is the country's biggest producer of pistachio, a popular snack. The province once accounted for 70 percent of Iran's pistachio production, but it has now declined to only 30 percent due to a severe water crisis.

"Pistachio is currently cultivated in 19 provinces across the country, all of which are more or less dealing with the same problem," Jalalpour said.

The official also noted that about 150,000 tons of pistachio worth $1.5 billion are estimated to have been exported from Iran during the current Iranian year starting on March 21, registering an 11 percent and 25 percent growth in weight and value respectively compared with past year.

Iran exported some 135,000 tons of the product worth around 1.2 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Iran, the second biggest producer of pistachio after the United States, is the top exporter of the product that supplies more than 50 percent of the world pistachio market.