TEHRAN – 41 per cent of Sistan va Baluchestan province horticultural products are allocated to Dates. About 103.388 hectares is the area under horticultural crops in Sistan va Baluchestan province. About 60 per cent of this area are palm groves. Dates harvesting has started from the groves of the southern regions of the province. Harvesting of dates in Sistan va Baluchestan province begins in June with early cultivars including Katomi, Negal, and Ashobeh. It ends with late cultivars Mikeli and Halileh in November. Harvesting of Mazafati dates with 28.400 hectares and Rabi dates with an area of 22.500 hectares, which have the most groves, will begin in late July in this province. Of the 62.914 hectares of groves in Sistan va Baluchestan, 49.718 hectares are fertile, and more than 250.898 tons of dates are produced and send to the market annually. The prominent role of the private sector in purchasing, packaging, maintenance, export, and support of investors of this strategic product is very fundamental. Due to the ability of the province to produce dates, the development of the cultivation of new commercial and market-friendly cultivars such as Piarom and Medjool dates is on the agenda of the Agricultural Organization.

Sistan va Baluchestan province did not have much rain this year, and many wells and springs have dried up, and there is no water to irrigate the groves. For this reason, in the current situation, the cultivation and production of dates have no benefit for palm growers. Drought has dried up many of the region’s groves. This damage is more irreparable because a palm tree takes a long time to bear fruit. Now it is time to harvest firstling dates in the province’s southern regions, and the harvest of dates in the Saravan region will start in one month and a half. However, palm growers are not happy at all, as drought directly affects crop quality. Drought is an issue, and selling a crop is another issue. Date growers have a hard time even in good weather. There are many barriers to selling dates. The best dates in Iran are produced in Saravan, but there is no buyer. Brokers have set the situation in such a way that the farmers gain very less benefit. The fire in the groves is another problem in the last month that the palm growers are struggling with. According to reports, most of these fires were caused by humans. It is also mentioned that some people walk in the groves and light a fire there. High temperature has caused the grass to dry out, and it has created the conditions for more fires.

The price of Iranian export dates in international markets has decreased by about 1.5 per cent over the last week. The reason for the decrease in the price of Iranian export dates was due to the increase in the exchange rate of foreign currencies in the Iranian market and also the fact that the price of this product remained constant in the domestic market of Iran, which led to a decrease in the price of this product. Premium grade Mazafati dates are currently traded at a price level of 1,25 Euro/kg FOB Iran.

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