0438 GMT May 27, 2020
Mohammadi rose (rosa damascena) production has grown across the country, said the head of Rosewater and Herbal Essences Union in Kashan.
Reza Navvabi told Iran Daily that if the government provides support, the grounds will be ready for doubling rosewater exports during the current Iranian year (to end March 20, 2021).
He added that Kashan produces 60 percent of Mohammadi roses and 70 percent of rosewater and herbal essences in the country.
The Kashan region includes the cities of Kashan, Qamsar, Niasar and Barzok, he said.
At present, 70,000 people are involved in farming, preparing and production of rosewater in the Kashan region, he added.
Kashan is the hub for producing herbal essences across the country, he said.
Over 225 herbal plants have been identified in the Kashan region, which has a warm, dry, cold and mountainous climate, he added.
Navvabi said that Mohammadi rose harvest from Kashan farms began on April 20 and will continue until June 30.
Given this year’s pleasant weather and appropriate precipitation rate, Mohammadi rose production will rise 1.5-fold over the year before, he said.
He put the Mohammadi rose output at 6,000 tons last year, adding the figure would rise to 10,000 tons this year.
Also, rosewater production stood at 14,000 tons last year, which would rise to 20,000 tons this year, he added.
Currently, a majority of Iranian Mohammadi rose export markets include the Persian Gulf littoral states, Germany, Spain, Southeast Asian countries and China.
China is a new market which has become acquainted with rosewater properties in the past three years and imports this product.
On the necessity to introduce rosewater to the world, he said currently rosewater is not a known product in many parts of the world. This is while rosewater has numerous uses in various food industries such as ice cream and cookie factories.
Navvabi continued that Iran ranks first in the production of rosewater worldwide. It ranks second in the production of the essence of Mohammadi rose after Bulgaria, he added.
“Bulgaria presents all of its Mohammadi rose production in the form of essence to the market, while we present our product in the form of rosewater.”
On high the value of the essence of Mohammadi rose, he said that each kilogram of essence is sold around 700 million rials ($166,666), which is more precious than rosewater.
The essence of Mohammadi rose is extracted only in the cities of Kashan and Kerman, he said.
He put the country’s essence output at 250 kilograms, predicting that it would reach 300 kilograms this year.
The head of Rosewater and Herbal Essences Union in Kashan said currently, the production of essence is meager compared to high Mohammadi rose output, adding that the essence extraction machine should be imported from Bulgaria and Turkey with government support.
Navvabi continued that due to the spread of the coronavirus, the labor force for harvesting roses and producing rosewater has become more expensive.
Also, rosewater consumption has decreased across the country because a large amount of rosewater used to be consumed in making ice creams and cookies.
In addition, rosewater is usually used in religious ceremonies and graveyards. Currently, due to the pandemic, gatherings have been banned in many places. As a result, rosewater consumption has dropped significantly.
He said rosewater festivals and ceremonies used to be held concurrently with the harvest season of Mohammadi rose and the rosewater festival in the Kashan region annually.
“This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the rosewater festival is not held. All hotels and restaurants are closed and the number of tourists, who used to come Kashan in this season, has dropped significantly.”
“Kashan used to earn close to 40 percent of revenues from selling rosewater and herbal essences from tourists who visited the region annually. This year, we don’t have this revenue,” he concluded.