Economy, Business And Markets

Agro Bank Helps Pistachio Exporters

The credit line has been opened by Keshavarzi Bank.The credit line has been opened by Keshavarzi Bank.

A one trillion rials ($31.7 million) credit line has been opened by Keshavarzi Bank (the main agriculture bank) to help prop up the struggling pistachio export industry, said the deputy agriculture minister.

“Iran’s pistachio exports are facing serious problems as prices have declined in international markets. The sector is looking for solutions in the hope that the market will rebound and prices recover,” Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi said in a talk with the official news website of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

“As a prelude to alleviating the problem, one of these solutions was to open a line of credit worth one trillion rials through the agro bank for pistachio exporters,” said the official who is also a member of the TCCIM. “We hope that the credit line will help.”

On the role and importance of pistachio exports, he said export data indicates that pistachio is a major generator of hard currency.  

Tahmasbi referred to a report published by the TCCIM last month, which showed that among the top 10 export commodities of Iran, pistachio ranks sixth. “This is better understood when we compare its value to other exports in terms of value and volume.”

Thee pistachio industry is also important in terms of job creation and “has the ability to present us with many new opportunities,” he said without elaboration.

During the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 20-June 20), an estimated 28,000 tons of pistachio worth 8.3 trillion rials ($234.5 million) was exported. According to data from the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, it indicated a 22% increase in volume and 29% rise in value compared to corresponding period of last year.

Last fiscal that ended in March, exports stood at 118,000 tons worth over $1.2 billion -- a 34% decline in volume and 24% fall in value  compared to the previous year.

Pistachios are Iran’s biggest export commodity after crude oil (and its derivatives), with 250,000 tons of the nut produced last year. Years-long nationwide drought resulting from climate change and unconstrained farming have taken a devastating toll on Iran’s pistachio farming. In 2013, Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture carried out a survey showing that Kerman Province was losing about 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of pistachio farms every year to desertification.


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