Apr 7, 2004, 3:24 PM

TEHRAN, April 7 (Mehr News Agency) -- During the recently concluded Iranian calendar year of 1382 (ended March 20, 2004), pistachio exports rose by 35 percent compared to the previous year, the official in charge of pistachio affairs at the Agriculture Jihad Ministry, Behruz Gheibi, announced here Tuesday.

During the year, 207,000 tons of pistachios valued at $804 million were exported, compared to 153,000 tons the previous year, Gheibi said.

 

In the preceding years it had been exported only 110,000 to 120,000 tons of pistachios, the official said, adding, “Pistachio exports began to rise in 1381 (started March 21, 2002) because appropriate policies were adopted by relevant officials.”

 

Gheibi put the production of pistachio in the past Iranian calendar year at 227,000 tons, saying that it is not possible to evaluate the amount of production and, consequently, export of pistachio in the current year (started March 21).

 

“It is because of Iran’s variable climate, changing global market, and other pistachio exporter countries’ situation, which can play a significant role in the increase of production and export,” he added.

 

The director of the Pistachio Research Institute of Rafsanjan, Amanollah Javanshah, had said earlier that according to the country’s Comprehensive Pistachio Plan, it should be possible to determine the minimum and maximum range of next year’s pistachio harvest.

 

The Horticulture Department of the Agriculture Jihad Ministry is implementing a plan to determine the country’s current pistachio production capacity, Javanshah told MNA.  

 

The comprehensive plan describes the responsibilities of every relevant organization, including the health and commerce ministries, in the area of pistachio production. 

 

According to official statistics, domestic consumption of pistachios is about 30,000 to 40,000 tons annually.

 

Gheibi said that most of the exported pistachios have been shipped in 40- to 50- kilo packages, adding that the Pistachio Co. has just begun to vacuum-pack its products. 

 

AF/HG

End

 

MNA

News Code 5230

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