Iran's Export of Medicinal Plants Withering Away
Economy, Domestic Economy

Iran's Export of Medicinal Plants Withering Away

Iran is home to 1,728 endemic medicinal plants, twice as many as all of Europe’s. This remarkable diversity made Iran one of the key traders of medicinal plants in the past.
However, according to Iranian Medicinal Plants Society, the country’s current ranking in the global market of herbs has fallen to 60. Researchers believe unscientific and unrestrained harvest has endangered rare species.
“A taskforce has lately been charged with controlling 15 species, as inaction could result in zero exports in the near future," Fariborz Gheibi, the manager of Medicinal Plants National Project, the Persian daily Shahrvand reports.
Iran's annual exports of medicinal herbs stand at only $600 million, of which $450 million and $50 million pertain to exports of saffron and damask rose, respectively.
According to Gheibi, Iran's share in medicinal plants' global market now stands at 3%.
“The employment of modern technology during the processing stage could bring in huge capital inflow for the country," he said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture is planning to increase land under the cultivation of medicinal plants to 500,000 hectares by 2025.
According to Gholamreza Miri, deputy head of the National Council of Saffron, Iran produces 94% of all the saffron in the world, yet it accounts for only 60% of the global saffron trade.
“About 34% of the saffron cultivated in Iran are labeled and sold by other countries,” he was quoted as saying earlier this month.


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