Iran exports around 1 million metric tons (mt) of apple each year as a senior official in the country’s agriculture ministry (MAJ) says apple shipments have created a good source of hard currency revenue for the Iranian government.
Head of MAJ’s department of orchard farming Mohammad Mehdi Boroumandi said on Monday that Iran’s annual apple production has exceeded an average of 4.3 million mt.
“We normally export around 1 million mt of this produce and it has become a very good source of earning hard currency for the country,” Borumandi was quoted as saying by the IRIB News.
Media reports suggest Iran has become a major supplier of apple to India in the past years. Trade officials reached agreements with Pakistan earlier this year to significantly increase Iran’s apple exports to the country.
Borumandi said Iran will introduce plans to both diversify its apple production and to increase the yields of the crop.
The official said those plans will mainly focus on the province of West Azerbaijan, located on the border with Turkey, where more than 1.3 million mt or 45% of Iran’s apple output come from.
A main focus of the scheme, he said, would be to introduce new apple varieties that can be picked in the summer instead of the normal harvesting season in autumn.
He said the measure would help the farmers and the MAJ have a better management of the huge yields of apple produce in Iran.
That comes as reports in the local media on Sunday said the MAJ had unveiled 91 new varieties of apple for cultivation in various provinces of Iran.