Monday, February 26, 2007

Thanh Nien News Business Vietnam bank backs cashew businesses
Vietnam bank backs cashew businesses

The Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (Techcombank) will support cashew enterprises with over US$37.5 million this year.
Nguyen Duc Vinh, the bank’s general director said the financial support would be allocated to businesses to modernize facilities and purchase raw cashews.
Techcombank will cooperate with logistic companies like Gemadept and Vinalink to facilitate and lessen the cost of raw-material storage.
Currently the bank is supporting 154 cashew enterprises with $21.8 million in loans and financial assistance.
Last year Vietnam’s cashew exports reached $520 million. The number is expected to climb to $700 million this year.
Cashews are one of the country’s 10 largest farm exports. Major markets include the US, China and Europe.
Cashew cultivation area is expected to expand from 350,000 ha to 450,000 ha by 2010.
Source: TTXVN – Translated by Tuong Nhi

Story from Thanh Nien NewsPublished: 24 February, 2007, 13:36:58 (GMT+7)Copyright Thanh Nien News

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

US: Waste not: cranberry leftovers get new life in greenhouses
They're a favorite Thanksgiving side dish, praised for their health benefits and the source of a roughly $70 million industry. Now, Massachusetts cranberries are being lauded for something far less glamorous: their waste.Confronted with mounting piles of cranberry skins left over from Ocean Spray's juice processing facility in Middleboro, the man who manages and hauls away the fruity remains turned to University of Massachusetts researchers to see if the scraps could be put to use rather than being dumped in landfills.
^^^ A crop of cranberries is corralled at the Mellow Wilson Cranberry Farm in West Yarmouth in this file photo. Confronted with mounting piles of cranberry skins left over from the juice processing facility, the man who manages and hauls away Ocean Spray's fruity remains turned to University of Massachusetts researchers to see if the scraps could be put to use rather than being dumped in landfills.
The scientists realized the shredded skins — called pomace — have a lot in common with peat moss. After composting the pink sawdust-like material into an earthy brown substance that smells like dirt and has the consistency of pipe tobacco, the researchers began adding it in place of peat moss to potting mixtures for petunias, poinsettias and mums."Nobody ever looked into this before because it was just a lot easier and cheaper to throw the pomace out in the dump," said Paul Lopes, one of the researchers with the UMass extension program.And Ocean Spray — which spends more than $100,000 to have five tons of pomace hauled away each year — is curious to see if the researchers' continued experiments will prove marketable."If somebody would pay to take it from us, that would be good economics," said company spokesman Chris Phillips.The pomace could also make better financial sense for commercial flower growers. While peat moss grows in abundance in Canadian bogs, its price fluctuates against the strength of the American dollar and the weather during harvesting season.The idea of adding agricultural waste products to potting mixes isn't new. Pine bark, coconut husks and peanut shells have all mingled with peat moss and served growers well. And this isn't the first time cranberry waste has been recycled. Some of Ocean Spray's fresh pomace has been finding its way to mulch producers in southeastern Massachusetts for a few years, although it hasn't been a big moneymaker for the company."I had this idea that maybe this stuff might be useful," said Scott McLane, the recycling manager for Plymouth-based Howland Disposal, which has been carting away Ocean Spray's pomace since 2001. After helping broker deals between wholesale mulch producers and Ocean Spray, a friend of McLane's in the nursery business suggested he investigate whether the pomace had potential in the gardening industry."It showed promise, but nursery people can't use large quantities of this and find out later that it's spawning diseases and creating problems and making them lose money," McLane said. "We needed to research this and show it was safe and beneficial." Enter Lopes and his fellow UMass researchers, Tina Smith and Douglas Cox. The team began working with a handful of Massachusetts flower growers, who agreed to experiment with the composted pomace.So far, the stuff seems to work best when it's added in a 50-50 mixture with peat moss. Too much pomace hurts a growing plant's root system and seems to prevent flowers from blooming properly, most likely because of the cranberry's high acidity. While the UMass researchers are still trying to create the best concoction before it can be marketed, the pomace is so far getting good reviews from the commercial flower growers they've been working with.Terry Lyons, a greenhouse owner in Foxboro, said he used a 50-50 pomace mix to grow a few dozen garden mums and hanging petunias."There's no difference at all between using that and straight peat moss," he said. "If pomace were part of a commercial mix I was buying, I'd have no problem with that."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

India: Pistachio prices down on poor demand
Pistachio prices dropped in the wholesale dry fruit market on Tuesday following a considerable fall in demand coupled with weak overseas advices and closed with fresh losses.
Elsewhere, prices of other dry fruits remained stable in limited deals.
Marketmen said, a fall in demand and weak overseas advices led to a fall in Pistachio prices.
Pistachio Irani, hairati and peshwari slipped by Rs 10 each at 480-510, Rs 520-540 and Rs 570-590 per kg respectively.
The following were Tuesday's quotations per 40 kgs bag:

Cherries under pressure: delicate stone fruit could suffer from late bloom
Although San Benito County cherry orchards have gone without the typical winter rains that recharge ground water, growers hope spring showers don't arrive at a time that would harm their delicate crop. The cherry is San Benito's most intensive crop, requiring more care, a diverse range of weather and a small window for harvest time due to market pressures, said Bill Coates, a farm adviser with the University of California Cooperative Extension.
If spring weather turns rainy and keeps the bees from doing their job, the size of the cherry crop could be greatly diminished, Coates said.
Local cherry grower George Rajkovich, who along with his brother, planted their first Hollister cherry trees in 1958, said the cherry harvest in San Benito lasts a mere 10 days and begins in early to mid-June. The Washington harvest lasts an entire month, with the first bushels arriving in California not long after San Benito's harvest begins.
"Washington is our major competitor," Rajkovich said. "They come in right in the middle of our season. When the Northwest starts our market goes bad." Mark Wright, farm manager for Felice Farms on Fairview Road, recently sprayed 115 acres of cherry trees with a nitrogen compound to shock the resting orchards awake for an earlier bloom.
"You're hoping you can get them harvested sooner while there's still a market," Wright said. The timing of the bloom allows San Benito's crop to sneak in between California's main cherry harvest and the start of Washington's harvest.
"We try to hit the niche between the end of the Stockton, Lodi market and the beginning of the Washington market," Coates said. The staggered growing seasons are good for the industry as a whole, keeping cherries in season for many months, said Dana Branson, administrator for the National Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation.
"We like for California to get in the market and get out," she said. "It's good for everybody."

Mac nut harvest: 55 million lbs.
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - 9:29 AM HAST Tuesday, February 13, 2007
by Howard Dicus
The 2006-2007 Hawaii macadamia nut harvest is coming in at 55 million pounds, or about 1 million pounds more than the year before, agriculture officials report.
Farm value of the crop is estimated at $38.5 million, down from $43.7 million the year before. That's based on an average price of 70 cents per pound, down from 81 cents in the previous season.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. has been paying less for nuts since it was acquired by The Hershey Co., and some Big Island mac nuts have gone unsold altogether as Mauna Loa relies more on Australian mac nuts, industry sources said.
Bills in the current state legislative session would require mac nut labels within the state to specify what percentage of nuts within were grown here.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office said 65 percent of the crop was harvested during the time it surveyed farmers. It found lower output in normally wet areas, and improved output in normally drier areas, as a result of the unusual heavy rains that fell last winter.
Hawaii has 650 macadamia nut growers. They have 1.3 million mac nut trees planted on more than 18,000 acres, all but a few hundred of which are harvested in a typical season. Harvest has run 3,000 pounds per acre or better for each of the past five years.
The harvest figures are measured "net, wet-in-shell," which means the weight of the nuts at the time they are delivered to processors, still containing moisture from the orchards. Net refers to gross pounds delivered, less spoilage.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cashew seen as potential export commodity crop

Friday, February 09 2007 @ 02:42 PM GMTAgriculture
There is money in cashew production.This was according to Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-B Acting Regional Executive Director Roberto Masbang, who spoke before more than 100 participants in the one-day Cashew Investment Forum themed "Cashing in on Cashew" held at the Legend Hotel in this city last Wednesday.Masbang told participants composed of DA officials, farmers and business sector in Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan (Mimaropa), that cashew is a leading nut crop in the country and anticipated to generate income and create employment for the country as well for Filipinos in general.He said, "it is a potential export commodity crop in the country."Masbang noted there's a great demand for cashew nuts in the foreign market, adding that it is the second most important nut crop in the world after almond."It is a potential investment opportunity for agribusiness and other stakeholders and some provinces in the country are emerging to popularize emerging cashew production," he pointed out.There's a steadily growing demand for wholesale food items from the world market for processed and industrially manufactured cashew based products, he added.Masbang said that raw nuts requirement are supplied by Vietnam, India and brazil whereas processed nuts come from U.S, Vietnam and Australia.Total worldwide demand of cashew kernel annually is 200,000 metric tons, he said.In Mimaropa, 24,345 hectares with 106,256 metric tons production or 99.90 percent can be found in Palawan while Occidental Mindoro has 47 hectares with 97 metric tons production or 0.10 percent.Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Nelson Salvador said that a total of 210,993 hectares are underdeveloped and potential cashew plantation.Masbang further said that the DA policy is to expand the advocacy campaign to increase cashew production and improve the productivity and profitability of cashew farmers.The DA official also asserted they will enhance the knowledge of cashew of farmers on good agricultural practices and improve packaging and labeling of cashew products.In the forum, the officials tried to find solution to the problems that are being encountered by farmers in the propagation of cashew.These are lack of quality planting materials, absence of reliable data on the production such as area planted and number of trees, seasonality of cashew, pests and diseases particularly termites and antharacnose, low quality of processed products and packaging materials used, inefficient marketing system and long payback period for cashew.They also discussed DA's interventions such as improving production, processing and marketing, market promotion and support services through active participation of local government units and extension services linkages among government agencies and non-government organizations.Masbang cited that Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap's policy direction is toward more farm-to-market roads, market profitability, post-harvest and irrigation facilities improvement and establishment of market training pool.He urged farmers in the country to plant cashew, because it has many by-products that could help farmers generate income.He stressed cashew is a promising tree and truly a "gold nut."Cashew trees, according to Masbang, are suitable for reforestation due to its ability to survive even on poor soils.Cashew apples can be eaten fresh when ripe and its pulp is utilized and processed into prunes, jams, atchara, fruit sauce, candies and meat extender for longganisa and meatballs. The juice of the apples can be further processed into wine, vinegar and jelly.The cashew nut shell liquid is used to make paints, resins, varnish, cold setting cement, anti-corrosion treatment, brake-lining, clutch facing, and magneto armature for airplane. It can likewise be used as cure for warts.The leaves and bark, on the other hand, can cure toothache, sore throat and gums, burns, diarrhea, dysentery and hemorrhoids.The cashew shell is a good source of fuel.Meanwhile, favorite cashew delicacies are pulvoron, barquillos, brittle, fruit cake, tarts and pastillas de kasoy.Businessmen selling cashew-based products said fried and roasted cashew nuts and other products made of cashew are still favorite "pasalubong" items for visitors to their friends and families.If Davao is known for its "Durian" fruits, Guimaras for its sweet Mango and Camiguin for its "Lanzones," Palawan is very proud of its Cashew nuts. (PNA)

Monday, February 12, 2007

California's 2006 almond crop a bin buster

Elizabeth LarsonCapital Press Staff Writer

Almond production in California has hit an all-time high, the Almond Board of California reported today.The board's 2007 Position report states that California almond production through Jan. 31 of the 2006-07 crop year jumped 22 percent over the previous year, resulting in a record high 1.092 billion pounds.California leads the nation and the world in almond production, said Marsha Venable, the board's communications coordinator. Eighty percent of the world's almond production is located in California, said Venable. California in turn exports 70 percent of its crop, she said.The growth in production didn't come from increased acreage, Venable said, most of which hasn't come into production yet."It really was just a good year for the sets on the trees," she said.That, together with good weather conditions, resulted in this record-breaking crop, said Venable.Along with the record production, the board is reporting increased demand in domestic and foreign markets.January crop year-to-date shipments increased 27 percent versus the same time period last year, the board reported, resulting in record-breaking numbers for domestic and export markets.Domestic shipments are up 23 percent overall, with record monthly shipments in each of the last five months, the board reported. In addition, export shipments were up 29 percent from last year.The Almond Board reported that the top five export markets this crop year are Germany, Spain, India, Japan and China, representing 50 percent of all California almond exports.Increasing knowledge about the health benefits of almonds is one factor in the growing demand, Venable said."People have become aware of the nutritional value of almonds," she said, adding that the "heart healthy" message about almonds has gotten out.The Almond Board also has been marketing the nuts globally, she said, which includes working to expand the role of almonds in peoples' diets beyond desserts, pastries and confections.The production count is expected to go on for the next five months, Venable said, but more than 98 percent has already been recorded.

Jeanne N. writes: “What is the purpose of the red dye on pistachio nuts? They don’t add any flavor. The only thing that happens is your fingers stay red for a very long time.’’Not knowing any nut experts in Racine (a few nuts, though), we used Google to help with this question. And we found that Jeanne is right. The red dye on pistachios doesn’t add flavor. Growers started dying the nuts long ago to cover blemishes in the shells. Modern machines are much better at picking out quality nuts, but a lot of people are used to red pistachios so the dye remains (along with red fingers). A few interesting side notes: 1.) Pistachios grow on trees and audibly split as the fruit ripens. Legend goes that lovers who stand under the trees and hear the popping shells will have good luck. 2.) Not that anyone but us would wonder this, but the phrase ’’caught red handed’’ has nothing to do with pistachios. That old phrase comes from the grisly image of someone with blood on their hands.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dear Friends:

Market remains firm and steady as we make record shipments for January at 85 million lbs—4 mil more than the prior record in 2002 crop and 20 mil more than a year ago. At the same time we have record 2006 crop receipts of 1.092 billion lbs. We expect another 10 million, bringing the total to about 1.1 billion lbs. This leaves us with an estimated 570 million lbs for the next 6 months and a carry over. The combined record shipment months from 2002 to 2005 crops for the next 6 months is 464 million lbs, an average of 77 mil/month. If we ship at that pace, we will have a carry out of 106 million lbs, and the total season shipments will be 1.074 billion lbs, 50 million more than the record 2003 crop. Accordingly, I would expect strong shipments to continue, giving us final shipments of 1.025 to 1.075 billion lbs and leaving a carry out of 105 to 130 million lbs. Unless there is a big change in this trend, the supply and demand are reasonably balanced at the current prices.

The market price from now on will react to the pollination conditions, which is expected to be later this year—starting week of 19 Feb. Current prices for 2007 crop reflect an expectation for a larger crop—potential 1.2 billion—at a discount of .30 to .40/lb. If pollination conditions are good, we could have a small softening of prices for both crop years then a transition during July to Sept from the higher current levels to the lower new crop levels. If pollination conditions are poor, current crop prices will increase slightly and 2007 crop will increase by a greater amount, bringing the two crops closer together in price.

Aflatoxin update: The EU is working on a proposal to increase sampling of arriving containers for aflatoxin and to standardize the process for all ports. Simultaneously, the Almond Board has developed a voluntary aflatoxin sampling plan (VASP) based upon extensive research that requires a 15kg representative sample to be ground and tested at a USDA certified lab. We expect the EU committee to propose testing 5% of arriving containers participating in the VASP program and 100% of those that are not. We don’t yet know when the program will begin but expect it between now and 2007 crop harvest. EU tolerance remains at 4ppb—lower than USA at 20 ppb and Japan at 10 ppb. Last year over 35 loads were rejected by EU customs for excess aflatoxin. The 5% sampling rate would actually mean an increase over current levels, and therefore expected to result in even more rejections. All considered, I would recommend that handlers prepare for participation in VASP and watch for news on the EU plans. Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by soil fungus and is most often associated with insect damage. Levels in almonds can be reduced by removing insect damaged kernels, blanching and avoiding high moisture during stockpiling and storage.

Salmonella update: The industry is awaiting USDA approval of the Almond Board’s proposed rule to require pasteurization of all North American shipments beginning with 2007 crop, unless purchased by a company certified to do its own pasteurization (the DV Program—Direct Verifiable). Pasteurization can be accomplished by Blanching, Oil Roasting, PPO (propylene oxide) fumigation or Thermal treatment (steam heat in chamber or continuous flow systems). We expect to have USDA news on this rule by end of March. There are several custom pasteurizing services in California available to handlers and buyers. Cost range is .05 to .07 per pound. Research has shown no significant physical or quality changes in PPO or thermal pasteurized almonds. I would expect a price differential between pasteurized and unpasteurized almonds, but that will be negotiated by each handler and buyer. Again I would recommend that handlers make pasteurization plans and that buyers discuss their pasteurization needs with their suppliers. If you are a buyer interested in participating in the DV program, start investigating now.

More information on both issues is available on the Almond Board website:

Please send comments and questions. I’ll discuss bloom conditions, expected acreage and 2007 crop prospects in the next 2 to 4 weeks.

Best regards, Bentzy

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

India: Walnut exports from Jammu and Kashmir register quantum jump
Export of walnut from Jammu and Kashmir registered a quantum jump in the recent years, with a spurt in production.
The export from the state has touched 1.15 billion rupees in the year 2005-2006.
"Hundred and sixteen crore rupees have been collected as revenue from the export of the walnuts. Total revenue collected from it is 300 crore rupees. The export market of walnut is very good. We don't have that much production. Our production adjust to the demand with in three four months," said Akhtar Hussein, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Jammu and Kashmir Government.
According to traders, kashmiri walnut is superior in quality and thus in great demand in the export market. "As compared to foreign dry fruits Kashmiri dry fruit is more in demand. It is sweet, has more oil and is considered good for health," said Nisar Ahmed Beig, a trader.
The state had very sparse cultivation of walnuts in its wastelands until a few years ago. Long gestation period of walnut trees, sometimes as long as 50 years, was a dampener for farmers to take up its plantation.
But the state's horticulture department has introduced high-yielding varieties of plants with gestation period of four to six years. The Government has also initiated steps for propagation of walnut trees by budding grafting walnut plants and distributes material among farmers so as to reduce the gestation period of walnut trees from ten years (seedling origin) to 4-6 years.
It will also improve the quality of the nut and also promote the concept of uniformity in shape, size and texture. This has helped the farmers to take up plantation of walnut on a large scale, increasing production from 89,000 metric tonnes in 2004-05 to 109,000 metric tonnes in 2005-06.
The foreign exchange earned through export of dry fruits mainly walnuts has reached a level of Rs 115.95 crores in 2005-06. Around 30,000 people are associated with the walnut trade in the state.
The Himalayan state is also well known for its fruit and dry fruit range.
Fruits like apples, pears, cherries, plums, grapes, pomegranates, mulberry, peaches, apricots, walnuts and almonds require a cool climate, moderate rainfall and bright sunshine. (ANI)

Farmers scramble for dwindling numbers of bees to pollinate crops
Associated Press
FRESNO, Calif. - As the cold slowly loosens its grip on California's Central Valley, the pink and white flowers on fruit and nut trees are just beginning to blossom and growers are scrambling for a dwindling supply of bees to pollinate their fields.
Harsh weather across the country, pesticides and mites are blamed for killing off billions of bees needed to pollinate just about every crop throughout the year - oranges in Florida, apples in Washington, blueberries in Maine and California's $1.4-billion-plus almond crop, according to some preliminary research by scientists with Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"It's startling. We were just starting to get information through word-of-mouth from beekeepers in the east a couple months ago and we thought about what it was going to mean once it got time for them to travel to California," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a bee expert with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The number of commercial honey bee colonies is less than half of what it was 25 years ago, said Maryann Frazier, a bee expert at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. A colony is defined as a queen bee and thousands of her workers.
Scientists were in California this week gathering bee samples to study what's killing them off.
"We came to California because at this time of year there are bees from about 15 states represented here," vanEngelsdorp said.
At stake are crops, especially huge industries like California's almonds, which account for 80 percent of the world's almonds, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.
Soon, half of the commercial bees available nationwide will get busy in California, transporting pollen from flower to flower on their legs. The blooming season that paints large squares of the valley in warm pastels lasts through mid-March.
"I wish we had more answers than questions right now," said Jeff Pettis, a researcher at a USDA honey bee lab in Maryland who was in California this week. "This couldn't be happening at a worse time."
California farmers began to worry after a cold snap swept over the West earlier this year followed by plummeting temperatures in the Midwest because it takes more energy for bees to stay alive in the cold, said Steve Park, a second generation beekeeper in Northern California.
The frigid temperatures were compounded by droughts, which meant less food for bees, vanEngelsdorp said.
"One thing, like weather, will not kill them," he said. "But if there's already one thing making them weak, than the added stress of a mite or a chemical makes life harder for them."
The already feeble bees may not be strong enough to handle a cross-country trek, though beekeepers have made the annual migration to California for at least 60 years, vanEngelsdorp said.
Meanwhile, farmers stand by, hoping enough bees are available during the late winter window when pollination is possible.
"It's kind of wait-and-see right now," said farmer George Miller.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Russia temporary abolishes the import tariff rates for cashew, almond, hazel-nut and sesame
According to information provided by USDA, the Government of the Russian Federation made a decision to tentatively abolish the tariff rates for the import of such nuts as cashew, almond, hazel-nut in the shell and sesame. The import tariff rate for these types of nuts was 5% earlier.The governmental decision is motivated by the growing world prices for the mentioned types of nuts; this fact affects the rates of the confectionary industry development in Russia. As a result of the world price growth for the mentioned types of nuts, during the first 9 months of 2006 the import of the product to Russia has decreased 18% comparing to the same period of time in 2005 (down to 16,700 tons).
The cost of the imported nuts has grown nearly threefold during the same period of time. It is worth mentioning that almost all shipments of almond (98%) are supplied to Russia from the USA.
To the opinion of the specialists of "Agrooglyad: Vegetables and Fruits" journal, the decision of the Russian Federation will hardly solve all problems of the consumers of nuts; however, the volumes of nut shipments are likely to be somewhat increased. This fact will contribute to the trend of the persistent price growth for nuts in the world.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Vietnam cashew chairman nuts over position
amid oppositionIn February last year VINACAS held a congress and elected Doctor Pham Van Bien to be its chairman amid controversy. Bien at the time was not eligible for the post as he was not an official member of the association.
He was then director of the Agricultural Science Institute of Southern Vietnam which was only an honorary VINACAS member. The VINACAS charter not only requires its chairman to be an official member but also requires he/she to be leader of a company or an organization.

^^^Mr. Pham Van Bien, the head of the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS) is vehemently defending his position, as members of the influential organization claim he is both incompetent and ineligible for the key post.
Thus, 20 days before he retired last December as director of the agriculture organization, meaning his membership and the prerequisite to be chairman was automatically gone, he had applied to VINACAS for an official membership. This would in effect legalize his position as VINACAS chairman.
Just some 10 days ago, his deputy Pham Van Cong ratified his membership request and issued a resolution, ruling he could continue as chairman. Many opposed, saying they need a congress to decide on that matter and not a resolution from a deputy. Others said he was incompetent and did not win members’ trust, causing them to “boycott” VINACAS by halting payment of membership fees.
He had never visited the members in person, they said further. Late last year when his chairmanship was in jeopardy, he asked the trade ministry to stop considering awarding titles of “prestigious exporters” to 12 cashew firms for failing to pay membership fees.
He told Thanh Nien angrily on Wednesday that he had been member of the VINACAS management board for 12 consecutive years. “That means I have already been an official member…when I retired, I applied for official membership as an individual and was granted it. So, I have met the requirements to continue as chairman. It is only a switch from official membership as a representative of an agriculture institute to official membership as an individual,” Bien said.
Last year VINACAS collected over VND300 million (US$18,750) in membership fees, less than half compared to the year before, when he was not chairman. Vietnam, which exported over 130,000 tons of cashew nuts worth US$520 million last year, is one of the largest cashew exporters worldwide.
VINACAS holds certain sway over the cashew market. It is instrumental in setting floor and ceiling prices, advising the government on cashew polices, and engages in international negotiation.

Iran remains world's leading pistachio producer in 2006

Following gas condensates and ironware, pistachio accounted for Iran's major non-oil exports in the past nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2006).
As a commercial output, pistachio product has a special importance in the agricultural production of some countries like Iran and contains large portion of their non-petroleum exportation. "Iran's share of pistachio export quantity of its non-oil exports in the recent years has hit something around 66 percent," ILNA news agency on Wednesday, quoted an official with Iran's Trade Promotion Organization as saying. Pistachio figures prominently among other nuts due to its nutritious value. Because of its high food value and favorable taste, planting pistachio trees has become common in other parts of the world.
According to the latest statistics released by the World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) affiliated to the United Nations, the pistachio production in the world stood at 501,000 metric tons in 2005, Iran producing 38 percent of the world production ranked first during the year. The U.S. with a production of 28 percent, Syria with 12 percent, Turkey with 12 percent, China with seven percent, and Greece with two percent took other places after Iran.
Despite the fact that Iran ranks first in the world in terms of pistachio production, harvested area and exports, it does not enjoy such a high position in global marketing due to exporting challenges. Iranian pistachio is considered the best in the world in terms of its taste and flavor. Kerman Province is the main center of pistachio production in Iran.