Iran, Islamic Republic of
Iran, Islamic Republic of - 3.5 Food and Additional Suppliers

The wide range of temperature fluctuation in different parts of the country and the multiplicity of climatic zones make it possible to cultivate a diverse variety of crops, including cereals (wheat, barley, rice, and maize (corn)), fruits (dates, figs, pomegranates, melons, and grapes), vegetables, cotton, sugar beets, sugarcane and pistachios, nuts, olives, spices e.g. saffron (World's largest producer with 81% of the world's total output), raisin(world's third largest producer & second largest exporter), tea, tobacco, Berberis (world's largest producer) and medical herbs. More than 2,000 plant species are grown in Iran; only 100 of which are being used in pharmaceutical industries. The land covered by Iran's natural flora is four times that of Europe.

Wheat, rice, and barley are the country's major crops. The Iranian grain sector is highly regulated. Producers receive subsidized access to input costs such as fertilizer and pesticides, as well as a guaranteed support price for their crops.

Rice: Iran's total rice production stands at 2.2 million tons per annum whereas annual consumption is about three million tons. UAE, Pakistan, India, Thailand, and Indonesia are some of the countries that Iran imports rice from to cover their consumption needs. The average per capita consumption of rice in Iran is 45.5 kg, which makes Iranians the 13th biggest rice consumers. Rice is mostly produced in northern Iran. Rice has been cultivated for many years in Mazandaran and Gilan Province of Iran. In the Northern Province, many indica rice cultivars including Tarom, Gerdeh, Hashemi, Hasani, Neda, and Gharib have been bred by farmers.

Pistachio: Iran ranks as the world's largest pistachio producer and exporter followed by USA and Turkey. After oil and carpets, pistachios are Iran's biggest exports: about 200,000 tons for $840 million. More than 350,000 people earn a living from the nut, most of them in vast groves of the desert oases in the southeast. Iran's share in the global pistachio market reached 50 percent.

Saffron: Saffron is cultivated in many regions of the country, the provinces of North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi, and South Khorasan in the northeast have the highest production share. Iran's saffron is exported to the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Japan, Turkmenistan, France, Italy and the US. The northeastern Khorasan Razavi province exported 57 tons of saffron worth $156.5 million to 41 countries. The high production cost comes from the exhaustive process of extracting the stamens from the flower and the number of flowers necessary to produce small amounts of spice but the process is in the process of being automated now. Iran is the largest producer of saffron with 93.7% of the world's total production.

Tea: Iran traditionally is a tea drinker country with lots of tea farmlands in the north of Iran. There are several tea packaging factories in Iran that either process the locally farmed tea or package the imported tea from India, Pakistan, or other East Asian countries.

Fruits: Iran is among the largest producers of berries and stone fruits in the world, especially pomegranates, dates, figs, and cherries.

Generic country information can be located from sources that are regularly maintained and reflect current facts and figures. For a general overview of country data related to the service and supply sectors, please consult the following source: 

The Observatory of Economic Complexity - MIT (OEC)

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Please note: WFP / Logistics Cluster maintain complete impartiality and are not in a position to endorse, comment on any company's suitability as a reputable service provider.


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