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Several Countries Ban Iran’s Fruits & Vegetables Due To High Pesticide Residues

A trade representative in Tehran has said various countries have banned imports of Iranian fruits and vegetables due to mold or high pesticide residues.

Ayushi Raina
Iran’s Fruits & Vegetables
Iran’s Fruits & Vegetables

According to a trade representative in Tehran, several nations have prohibited import of Iranian fruits and vegetables owing to mold or excessive pesticide residues. 

Mostafa Daraeinejad, the head of Iran's fruit and vegetable association, told that India, Russia, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, and other countries no longer accept some certificates issued by Iran's agricultural organizations and demanded that their own standards be met. 

Last year, Iran exported $6.5 billion in agricultural products. It is among the top ten producer of over two dozen fruits and vegetables, including saffron, apples, citrus fruit, watermelons and other melons, pomegranates, dates, pistachios, and walnuts. 

Daraeinejad stated that India was refusing to grant import permits for Iranian kiwi because it did not meet safety standards. In 2018, Iran ranked seventh in global kiwi production, with the primary producing area exporting over 60,000 metric tonnes for $95 million. 

Daraeinejad warned that if the Ministry of Agriculture did not take prompt steps to boost standards, Iran will lose agricultural markets. He said the matter should also concern domestic consumers as "Iranians don't deserve to ingest nitrates and other pesticide residues.” 

Due to excessive pesticide levels, Uzbekistan rejected several thousand tonnes of Iranian and Pakistani potatoes in November.

In November, Qatari importers returned to Iran nearly 588 date palms worth $136,000 that had been imported for lining streets in preparation for the 2022 soccer World Cup. 

Russia prohibited the import of some Iranian agricultural products a few weeks ago. According to Reza Nourani, chairman of the National Association of Agricultural Producers, a large shipment of peppers was rejected owing to a lack of pesticide-residue certifications. According to the Mashregh News website, on December 1, "the Israeli lobby" in Russia was behind the initiative to eliminate market competition for Israeli peppers. 

According to the Iranian Customs Organization, Iran exported $22 million of peppers to Russia last year, which became one of the key destinations for Iran's fruit and vegetable exports after the installation of US maximum pressure' sanctions in 2018. Agricultural products account for more than 80% of Iran's exports to Russia. 

Despite the fact that Iran produces a wide range of agricultural goods, the sector has been plagued by severe drought and insufficient water resources for many years.

At the same time, environmentalists urged that growth of watermelons and cucumbers, two of Iran's primary fruit and vegetable exports, should be prohibited in most locations since one kilo of watermelon requires 300 liters of water on an average. Producing chicken, rice, and bread all necessitates the use of even more water. 

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