Over $238m of facilities to be allocated for supporting saffron industry

October 3, 2020 - 15:41

TEHRAN – Iran’s Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) has signed a multilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three of the country’s banks on the allocation of 10 trillion rials (about $238.09 million) for supporting the saffron industry.

The MOU was signed by PBO’s Deputy Head Hamid Pour-Mohammadi and the managing directors of Agriculture Bank, Mellat Bank, and Export Development Bank of Iran, IRNA reported on Saturday.

Speaking in the signing ceremony, Pour-Mohammadi noted that the mentioned funding will be provided to saffron producers and processors in the form of bank facilities to support the production of saffron and the packing and processing of this product which has been impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to the official, the interest rate of the mentioned facilities would be 18 percent, of which PBO has agreed to pay three percent.

Back in August, Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Head Hamid Zadboum had said that the organization has set up a special task force on the saffron industry.

Underlining the significance of saffron in Iran’s exports, Zadboum had said that TPO has been supporting the saffron industry by offering different incentives to the producers and packers since the Iranian calendar year 1380 (March 2001- March 2002).

The special task force held its meeting at the place of TPO in the presence of the representatives of the Agriculture Ministry, Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI), Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Health Ministry, Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI), Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA), Iran Chamber of Cooperatives (ICC), National Saffron Council, and the Organization for Protection of Consumers and Producers (OPCP).

About 85 percent to 90 percent of Iran’s saffron is produced in the northeastern provinces of North Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi and the eastern province of South Khorasan.

Based on the data released by the Iranian Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, Iran earns some $500 million annually by exporting medicinal herbs, of which about $350 million is related to saffron and the rest is the share of other medicinal herbs.

EF/MA

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