As the summer tea harvest goes underway, 80,000 tons of fresh tea leaves worth 1.62 trillion rials ($42.5 million) have been purchased by the government from local farmers so far this year, registering an 8% decline in tonnage due to unfavorable weather conditions, the head of Iran Tea Organization said on Tuesday.
“Of this amount of fresh leaves, close to 18,000 tons of dried tea were produced, half of which have been sold,” Mohammad Vali Rouzbahan was also quoted as saying by Young Journalists Club. Last year (March 2016-17), the government purchased more than 139,000 tons of fresh tea leaves worth 2.34 trillion rials (close to $62 million), from which 31,200 tons of dried tea were produced. The government has a guaranteed purchase system in place for many crops, including tea, to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market. Tea undergoes three harvests a year. One is the spring harvest that starts in late April. The second in summer begins early June and the last one is in autumn and starts late September. Tea is cultivated in Iran’s northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran where 50,000 families earn their living from tea farming on more than 25,000 hectares of fields.