Economy, Domestic Economy

Taskforce to Combat Fruit Smuggling

Taskforce to Combat Fruit SmugglingTaskforce to Combat Fruit Smuggling

Following reports that smuggled lemons and sour cherries are being sold in the domestic fruit markets, Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati has called for the formation of a taskforce led by his deputy for commercial affairs, Mojtaba Khosrotaj to tackle the issue.

As decreed by the ministry about four years ago, the import of all types of fruits other than bananas, pineapples, coconuts and mangoes is officially banned in support of local producers, as domestic production is sufficient to meet demand at home, ISNA reported.     

According to Iran’s Plant Protection Organization (PPO), not only does fruit smuggling inflict financial losses on domestic producers, but it also risks spreading pests and diseases inside the country.

“At present, there are more than 600 kinds of pests in Iran, most of which, including the olive fruit fly and sunn pest (which affects wheat) as well as the witches’ broom disease have entered the country via smuggled fruit,” says the PPO head, Ali Baghestani.

“The government needs to take stricter measures against fruit smugglers.”