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Iran facing 1 mln tons in apple surplus, farmers urge immediate exports

Apple-growers in Iran are calling on the government to facilitate the export of at least one million tons of their surplus harvest or let the crop rot in storage houses.

A senior board member at the Orchard Owners Association of Iran said on Thursday that there was an immediate need for exports of a bulk of apple surplus from the country.

Mojtaba Shadlou said the apples in storage houses will rot unless exported until late April.

“This surplus should be immediately shipped to outside the country, otherwise it will rot and the growers will face losses,” Shadlou was quoted by ILNA news agency.

The comments come amid reports suggesting that the Iranian agriculture ministry has set up a barter mechanism whereby imports of banana into the country are tied to apple exports.

A customs directive implementing the mechanism, which is aimed at lowering the soaring prices of banana in Iran in recent weeks, has been enacted since early February, according to reports in the local media.

Shadlou implied that the barter mechanism may cause a decline in apple exports as he insisted the government should think of more exports to countries in the Persian Gulf region and to Iraq.

He said the big surplus of apple in Iran this year is a result of nearly a year of government bans on gatherings and parties that have been meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the surplus was also due to the fact that families tend to spend less on fruits because of lower purchasing power amid the pandemic.

Source: Press TV

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