Drought and heat hit Pistachio yield

Pistachio season has arrived in Iran, yet growers are complaining about the low Pistachio yield of production and the unprecedented rise in the price of pistachios.

This had led to fears of losing shares in the international market. The province of Kerman produces 70% of Iran’s pistachio which is Kerman’s most popular export. Although Americans have taken control of portions of the market, Iranians still control a larger segment of the international market.

Officials at the Agriculture-Jahad Ministry in the North of Kerman say that the production of pistachio has fallen by 80% this year. In the city of Rafsanjan, which is the pistachio capital of Iran, production has fallen by 90%.

The remaining pistachios also lack quality due to drought and heat. The main reason for this fall in production is said to be the severe heat experienced in early spring. The trees are under such stress that blossom have yet to form for next year and it is expected that this falling trend in production will continue into 2019.

As a result, dried Akbar-Aghaii pistachios, a very popular type of pistachio, which were sold at 40 thousand tomans during the peak of Nowruz holidays, is now being sold at 100 – 120 thousand tomans.

Sabzineh, an Agricultural newspaper in Iran, writes that the recent devaluation of the Iranian currency has worsened the situation for pistachio farmers. Crucial raw materials to increase the pistachio yield such as pesticide are either stuck in customs or local factories, or they should be obtained from the gray market which is not financially feasible.

Pistachio after copper, is the second largest non-oil export from Kerman earning 5.1 billion dollars annually. The loss of this industry will have irreversible consequences.

Related article: Pistachio of Rafsanjan or dates of Khuzestan dates?