Cold spell inflicts damage worth $450m on Kerman pistachio farms
Cold weather in spring has inflicted 130 trillion rials ($456 million) in damage to pistachio orchards in Kerman Province, says the chairman of Kerman Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
“This is only our preliminary estimate on direct damage to orchards. If we take the entire pistachio production chain into account, the losses will have to be multiplied,” Mehdi Tabibzadeh was quoted as saying by the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Otaghiranonline.ir
Mohammad Reza Mousavi Torabi, the head of the Agriculture Commission of Kerman Chamber of Commerce, says around 180,000 hectares of pistachio orchards were hit by the cold after the start of the current Iranian year (March 21), with three-fifths of them experiencing more than 50% damage.
He added that pistachio production this year is expected to decline by 65,000 tons and the quality of the remaining yield will certainly drop.
Kerman’s Governor General Ali Zeynivand says preliminary estimates show that the pistachio industry has suffered 200 trillion rials ($700 million) in losses, adding that the figure equals 8% of the province’s annual GDP.
With around 212,000 hectares of pistachio orchards, Kerman Province in southeast Iran is considered the country’s production hub of the nut.
Extreme cold has inflicted around 400 trillion rials ($1.4 billion) in damage to orchards across the country over the past month, an Agriculture Ministry official said recently.
He noted that a total of 450,000 hectares of orchards were damaged, including 202,000 hectares of pistachio orchards, 66,000 hectares of almond plantations, 47,000 hectares of vineyards and 20,000 hectares of walnut orchards.
The Agriculture Insurance Fund is working to compensate part of the huge losses, he added