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Iran’s Share of Damask Rose Trade Meager
Economy, Business And Markets

Iran’s Share of Damask Rose Trade Meager

Iran’s share in Damask rose business is insignificant, said the head of Rastegar Biotechnology Center.
Iraj Rastegar added that Damask rose business is worth $10 billion, which makes the flower one of the most lucrative agricultural products, the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz reported.
Last month, a forum on Damask rose investment opportunities was held at Tehran’s Milad. One of the main topics discussed in the forum was the importance of setting up rose-absolute factories in the country.
“Unfortunately Iran does not possess the technology of making rose absolute, the production and export of which would earn the country a large amount of foreign currency,” he said.
“Currently, 13,000 hectares of Iran’s farmland are under the cultivation of Damask rose and each hectare produces 2 to 3 tons of the flower. This is while Turkey’s output is 6 to 10 tons per hectare.”
Rastegar noted that the essence of Damask rose is at times referred to as “Liquid Gold” and the 200-odd products derived from Damask rose are used in pharmaceutical and food industries.
The flower is grown in 10 provinces, including Fars, Kerman and Isfahan.
“Farmers’ lack of knowledge might be at fault for Iran’s lack of progress in Damask rose business. In other words, farmers are not aware of modern agriculture and effective methods of plantation, pruning and making Damask rose products,” he said.  
Rastegar added that 3 tons of Damask rose production per hectare generate around 360 million rials (about $12,000), which makes it the most economically viable option for farming.
“Based on the sixth five-year economic development plan (20016-21) and under a project named ‘Expansion of Pharmaceutical Orchards and Herbs’, Damask rose production is set to triple, area under cultivation will reach 45,000 hectares and its production would rise to 800,000 tons. A ballpark estimate shows farmers’ income would exceed 800 million rials ($26,662) per hectare,” he said.
He added that Afghanistan has also ventured into this field since past eight years and now makes various rose essences and other products, and exports them to the UAE and Europe.
Rastegar urged government officials and private sector investors to weigh up the sector’s potential carefully.
“Each kilogram of the flower’s essence is sold for around $8,000 in the global market. Once modern technology is employed in Iran, the annual production of 20,000 kilograms of its essence will generate 6,000 billion rials ($200 million) for the country,” he said.
Damask rose is renowned for its fine fragrance and it is the main ingredient of all perfumes. Used in perfumery and aromatherapy, absolutes are similar to essential oils. They are concentrated, highly aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants such as Damask rose.
Iran has been mentioned as the birthplace of Damask rose, regardless of the name.

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