Iran has exported 1,450 tons of medicinal plants since March 21 (the start of the Iranian calendar year), said a Forests, Ranges and Watershed Management Organization (FRWO) official on Tuesday.
A total of 2,500 species of medicinal plants have been identified in Iran, added Tarahhom Behzad, the director general of FRWO’s office for ranges’ affairs, in an address to a meeting attended by local officials in Shahr-e Kord in the western Iranian province of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, IRNA reported.
He noted that investments have been made only in the production of 170 of these species.
“Totally 53 companies are involved in producing medicinal herbs in Iran. This year, it has been decided to allocate a fund from the resources of the National Development Fund to develop cultivation of 94 species of such plants in the country.”
A total of 195,000 hectares of farmlands in Iran are under cultivation of medicinal plants. Iran accounts for less than one percent of medicinal plants’ global trade.
Most of the medicinal herbs produced in Iran are exported unprocessed.
Earlier, Eskandar Zand, the head of Iran’s Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, said Iran annually exports medicinal plants worth $400 million, of which 80 percent pertains to the overseas sales of saffron.