Iran’s export of medicinal plants thriving
Tehran, Iran, Sept. 13
Iran exports $450 million worth of medicinal herbs annually, Hossein Zeinali, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, said.
“Some 195,000 hectares of farmland are currently under cultivation and the number is expected to reach 250,000 in the next three years (to produce more medicinal herbs),” Zeinali said, IRNA reported on September 13.
Some 108,000 hectares belong to saffron and the rest goes to the cultivation of cumin, fennel, shallot, coriander and liquorice, he added.
Iran annually exports medicinal herbs worth $450 million to various countries, including the Persian Gulf littoral states, Japan and Germany.
Iran is home to 1,728 endemic medicinal plants, twice as many as all of Europe’s. This remarkable diversity made Iran one of the key traders of medicinal plants in the past.
However, according to Iranian Medicinal Plants Society, the country’s current ranking in the global market of herbs has fallen to 60.
Researchers believe unscientific and unrestrained harvest has endangered rare species.