Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran’s Flower Market: Hopes and Challenges

Iran’s Flower Market: Hopes and ChallengesIran’s Flower Market: Hopes and Challenges

The economy revolving around flowers is considerable and Iran’s flower market, notwithstanding all the shortcomings, is a big one, said the head of Flower and Ornamental Plant Research Institute of Iran.

Pejman Azadi added that flower cultivation has created 40,000 to 50,000 jobs, apart from a large number working in flower shops across the country.

“Iran earned $47 million from flower exports in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015), while capacity is estimated to increase to $1 billion annually,” he said.

Some 500 types of flowers and ornamental plants are cultivated in Iran. Roses, abyssinian gladioluses, tuberoses, chrysanthemums and dumb canes are among the main ones, the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz reported.

The official explained that the process of flower exports in Iran is carried out traditionally and via land routes since there are inadequate facilities, including refrigerated vehicles or special airplanes, and flowers are handled as conventional cargo in airports.

“We export roses and ornamental plants to Iraq, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Our imports mainly consist of bulbs and transplanting plants as well as seeds from Turkey, China and the US, the value of which amounts to $60-70 million approximately,” he said.

Azadi pointed to the scarcity of land dedicated to floriculture as an obstacle facing producers.

“In other countries, there are usually 4- to 5-hectare plots of greenhouses where flowers are cultivated on a large scale. This reduces production costs and is economically feasible,” he said.

“In our country, however, the greenhouse area is 3,000 to 5,000 square meters at most. Furthermore, there is a lack of proper technical knowledge in the field. As a result, production costs rise and domestic producers are rendered incapable of competing in the international market,” he said.

According to the official, the Iranian market is a promising one to invest in, provided that the most recent methods are used and the cultivation process is mechanized.

“Per capita flower consumption in the country is 10 to 15 flowers annually, which is way behind the global figure of 150 flowers,” he added.

Plants and flowers are cultivated traditionally in the country and this is due to the high price of the machinery and equipment involved, according to Ebrahim Khanjani, CEO of Gitigol Ramsar Landscaping.

“None of the required machinery is made domestically. Moreover, mechanized production requires special infrastructure which is both time-consuming and costly to arrange. Therefore, small firms are reluctant to modernize their systems,” he said.

“Fertilizers, pesticides and vases cost a lot of money, and expenses related to tax, insurance and salary of workers make up a large sum. But if all goes well, the business would pay off after approximately 28 months.”

Khanjani stated that the flower and ornamental plants industry is among the most profitable agricultural fields and has the capacity to create many jobs, especially for graduates who have majored in different fields of agriculture.