An April frost and drought conditions in Iran have significantly damaged the Islamic nation’s pistachio crop — their second export behind oil. Now they face pressure from California, also a major pistachio producer, reports Reuters.
Although U.S. efforts to market the nut are strong, dry conditions in the American West also mean that neither country boasts a record harvest. Emotions run high between the two, as usual. A daily in Iran wrote that the U.S. has tried “to improve its position in the global war of pistachio production and export by undermining Iranian trade in every way.”
But not everyone sees it as a war. Iranian Mohsen Jalalpour of a local Chamber of Commerce says that persistent water shortages determine the crop volume more than anything else. While the U.S. might trump Iran this year, the country has a solid reputation for its tasty pistachios. Recognizing the importance of the nut, the Iranian government is also considering moving production toward the west of Iran, where water supplies are more readily available.
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