Iran calls off plan to export potato to Russia, official says

Business Materials 19 June 2018 10:31 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, June 19

By A. Shirazi - Trend:

The head of Iran’s National Potato Association said the country has called off its pre-planned decision to export potato to Russia due to high transportation costs and tariffs.

“Iran’s potato export to Russia has been canceled due to high transportation costs and duties,” Rahim Niazi told the Trend news agency on June 19.

He added that Iran is currently exporting potatoes to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Niazi further said that the country produces 5 million tons of potatoes annually from which 650,000-700,000 tons are exported, mainly to Iraq, per year.

Niazi said the amount of potato’s annual production in the future hinges upon the domestic market, tariffs and domestic economy in Iran.

He said potato is being sold in the market at a lower price compared to the last year due to excess supply.

The provinces of Hamedan, Ardebil, Kurdistan, East Azarbaijan and Isfahan are the main producers of potatoes in Iran.

Agriculture accounts for 13% of Iran’s GDP and over 20% of its employment. The country is the world’s 20th country by agricultural output, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The sector, however, has its own detractors who say the industry is using up 92% of the country’s water and draining its water tables amid inefficient agriculture and food production practices.

They are pushing for farming overseas in countries such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Brazil and Ghana through long-term leasing or ownership of farmland with higher agribusiness potential.