Olive Production in Iran Sees 20% Growth; IOC Says
Olive Production in Iran Sees 20% Growth; IOC Says
Olive production in Iran in the previous calendar year (which ended on March 19) witnessed a 20 percent growth year-on-year.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – Olive production in Iran in the previous calendar year (which ended on March 19) witnessed a 20 percent growth year-on-year, said the head of the Iranian Olive Council (IOC).

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Mehdi Abbasi put last year’s output at between 110,000 tons and 120,000 tons, adding the figure stood at 90,000 tons in the preceding year.

He also said that Iran’s olive is known to rank first in the world in terms of taste.

Commenting on the reasons for the rise in Iran’s output in the previous year, the IOC head said although olive production is an emerging industry in the country, the area under olive cultivation has been expanded in the past few years.

“On the other hand, the greater use of science and modern technologies in the industry in recent years has had positive impacts on Iran’s olive production.”

Estimating the country’s olive output in the current year (to end on March 20, 2021), he said it is impossible to give an exact figure as the harvest season has not arrived yet.

Olive harvest season in Iran begins in late September and continues until late January.

Abbasi, however, regretted that Iran’s output would see a fall this year, compared to that of last year, given the climate fluctuations in late March and early April and the extreme cold in the winter.

During the spring this year, he added, sunshine was insufficient on many days, which has negative impacts on the olive trees’ yield.

Abbasi said it is estimated that olive is cultivated in 85,000 hectares of gardens in Iran.

He said major olive production regions in the country are located in the provinces of Zanjan (northwest Iran), Gilan (northern Iran), Qazvin (northern Iran), Fars (southern Iran), Golestan (northern Iran) and Semnan (northern Iran).

The IOC head stressed that subtropical and temperate climates are suitable for olive cultivation, describing a Mediterranean climate as the best option for growing the crop.

He said Iran has great potential for increasing its olive cultivation in light of its suitable climate if the public sector adopts appropriate policies to this end.

Abbasi regretted that Iran fails to have a significant share in the world’s olive export market, and said, “We have not put in a convincing performance in the field of branding. There are currently few brands in the country involved in olive exports, which has caused Iran to lag behind its rivals in international markets.”

“Each of the world’s major producers and their crops is famous for a certain property [or a number of them]. For instance, Spain is known as the world’s biggest olive producer. This is while Iran’s olive is known to be the world’s most delicious one. In addition, the country’s olive oil is also unrivaled in the world in terms of taste and quality.”

Iran’s olive is exported to many countries including a number of European states, he said, adding, even countries such as Italy, Spain, and the UK that are among the world’s major producers of the crop are willing to import Iranian olive for its high quality and delicious taste.

Abbasi put the per capita consumption of olive oil in Iran at solely 200 grams per annum, saying this comes as, Europe’s average stands at 11 kilograms per year and that of Greece, which ranks first in the world in this regard, at 24 kilograms yearly.

Also commenting on the health benefits of consuming olive oil, the IOC head said despite having the largest number of tobacco smokers in the world, Greece has the lowest number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases worldwide, as the Greeks highly consume olive oil.

“Olive oil is the only of its kind that not only does not build up in the walls of arteries but also helps cleanse them. In the holy Quran, the olive has been sworn on in several instances.”

He called on the Iranian government to provide domestic olive oil production industry with further support as it helps boost employment, prevent the outflow of foreign currency resources, and, most importantly, ensures the health of the society.

  • source : Iran Daily, Irannews