Source: Tehran Times
Iran plans to increase its agricultural exports to 118 million tons in the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 20, from 107 million tons in the past year, IRNA quoted Iran's Agriculture Ministry official Naser Tavakkoli as saying.
Agricultural exports grew by 15 percent during the first eight months of the current calendar year compared to the same period in the preceding year, he added.
Over 15 trillion rials (some $1.2 billion) has been paid to farmers during the 8-month period in the form of banking facilities, henoted.
Iran's agricultural exports grew last year, with pistachio and saffron sales almost doubling, despite Western sanctions on trade with the country, the Fars News Agency quoted Iran's deputy agriculture minister Jahangir Pourhemmat as saying on January 6.
Between March 21 and December 20, Iran's pistachio exports doubled to $587 million, making the nuts Iran's biggest agricultural export by value. Exports of saffron rose 87 percent to $213 million, according to Reuters.
"Export of farming products has increased 15 percent compared to the previous year, while the agricultural exports are still on the increase on a daily basis," Pourhemmat added.
"Over 95 percent of Iran's needed products are produced inside the country which is highly important for the country's political independence."
Meanwhile, Iran's fruit exports have faced a 30 per cent decrease from the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2012) and so far in comparison with the same period the previous year, the head of Iran's fruits and vegetables sellers union said on January 18.
Iran needs to work on the packaging in order to boost its fruits exports, the ISNA News Agency quoted Mostafa Darayinejad as saying.
Turkey is becoming a great exporter of fruits in the region, decreasing Iran's share of exports, he added.
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