1005 GMT March 04, 2021
The northern Iranian province of Mazandaran has exported 100,000 tons of citrus fruits since the beginning of the current calendar year, which started on March 20, 2020, said a provincial official, adding the figure indicates a 30 percent growth year-on-year.
Speaking to IRNA on Monday, Hadi Izadi, the director of Agriculture Organization of Mazandaran for horticultural affairs, said since the beginning of this harvest season in Iran (early November), on average, 1,000 tons of citrus fruits have been exported from the province per day.
He noted that tangerine and orange constituted the major part of exports from the province in this period, saying neighboring states were the main destinations.
Annually, Iran’s citrus fruits exports starts in early November and continues until late April.
Izadi said during November 2019-April, 2020, the province had exported 150,000 tons of citrus fruits.
He added since early November 2020, the province has exported 50 twenty-ton containers of citrus fruits per day.
Izadi said Russia and Iraq are major export destinations.
He noted that the province’s capacity for storing horticultural crops has reached 1.5 million tons.
The official predicted that the province’s exports of citrus fruits will surpass 240,000 tons by the end of the current calendar year (March 20, 2021), indicting a year-on-year growth of 60 percent.
He put at $113.63 million the annual turnover of the overseas sales of citrus fruits from the province.
Izadi noted that this year, the province has so far produced 2.7 million tons of citrus fruits.
Iran’s agriculture sector has experienced a strong growth in recent years as better yields and increased government support for exports have encouraged more activity across the sector, according to Press TV.
The government continues to rely on the sector as a main source of earning hard currency as normal crude sales have dropped due to American sanctions and lower global demand for fuels during the pandemic.
Earlier, an Iranian agriculture ministry official said the country is expecting to earn more from the exports of subtropical fruits in the year to late March 2021 amid rising demand for such crops during the coronavirus pandemic.
Zahra Jalili-Moqaddam added subtropical fruit exports had earned Iran nearly $0.5 million in the last calendar year ending in March 2020.
She said, however, that export volume has been increasing this calendar year as demand keeps surging for fruits rich in vitamin C like citrus crops and pomegranate that many believe can lower the risk of being infected with coronavirus.
She said exports of subtropical fruits from Iran in the last calendar year had amounted to 0.612 million tons.