0920 GMT March 19, 2019
Hossein Zeinali, the manager of the ministry’s national plan for production of medicinal plants, added in case sufficient investment is made in the sector, Iran will turn into the Middle East’s top exporter of medicinal herbs in two years’ time, IRNA reported.
“Iran has the capability to increase production in this sector. The country, however, is required to draft a strategic and practical plan to achieve it. Sufficient fund should be made available to prepare such a plan and oversee its implementation effectively.”
He noted the estimates show that Iran has the capacity to meet 85 percent of domestic need, adding plans have been drawn up to supply 75 percent of the Iranian market’s demand for such plants domestically in the year to March 2020.
Turning to Iran’s saffron exports during March-November 2018, Zeinali said the country sold $252 million worth of the product in foreign markets during this period.
He said at present, Iran’s annual exports and imports of medicinal plants stand at $450 million and $150 million, respectively, adding the trade balance is 300 percent in the favor of the country.