Financial Tribune- Close to 90,000 tons of fresh tea leaves worth 1.74 trillion rials ($44.61 million) were purchased from local farmers in the spring and summer harvests, the head of Iran Tea Organization said.
“The autumn harvest will begin in 10 days and it is estimated that overall, 110,000 tons of fresh tea leaves will be produced this year,” Mohammad Vali Rouzbehan was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency. Tea undergoes three harvests a year. One is the spring harvest that starts in late April. The second in summer begins early June and the last one is in autumn and starts in September.
Last year (March 2016-17), the government purchased more than 139,000 tons of fresh tea leaves, worth 2.34 trillion rials ($62 million) from farmers, of which 31,200 tons of dried tea were produced. About 110,000 tons of dried tea, worth between $550 million and $600 million (based on global prices and if it was all imported), are consumed in Iran annually.
Every year, the government buys certain crops, including tea, from local farmers at guaranteed prices, to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market.
Tea is cultivated in Iran’s northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran where 50,000 families earn their living from tea farming on more than 25,000 hectares of fields.