Iran is on course to assert its place as the world’s largest producer of pomegranates with one million metric tons of the crop this year, an Agriculture Ministry official says.
Harvest is about to begin within a month over 62,000 hectares of land in the country’s central, southern and northeastern provinces.
Last year, Iran produced about 940,000 metric tons of pomegranates but output is expected to reach one million tons this crop year, Abolqassem Hassanpour, the head of the ministry’s tropical and semitropical fruits office, said.
About 100,000 metric tons of the crop is exported, mainly to China, the Persian Gulf Arab states and Europe. Hassanpour said Iran is to resume pomegranate sales to South Korea after examinations on exported samples produced no sign of contamination as alleged by importers.
The official said each kilo of premium Iranian pomegranates sells for between $9-10 in the market, adding every five kilos bring about earnings equal to an oil barrel.
Iran’s rival in pomegranate production is the US which grows the Iranian native in California.
The fruit is mentioned in the Qur’an, the Bible and the Book of Exodus.
With its clusters of glistening red seeds, the sweet-sour juicy staple has found prominence around the world, sparking legal dispute with the likes of Coca-Cola for a misleading suggestion that its ingredient contained pomegranate juice.
By Press TV