TEHRAN, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The pistachio farmers in Iran's southeastern province of Kerman have suffered a loss of 227 million U.S. dollars since March 21, the first day of the current Iranian year, Financial Tribune daily reported Sunday.
"It was estimated that 70,000 tons of pistachios would be harvested this year. Yet we have lost 90 percent of this amount due to water shortage, climate change and high temperatures," Abbas Saeedi, a senior official at Kerman's agricultural sector, was quoted as saying.
Kerman has long been the hub of pistachio production in Iran.
However, Mahmoud Abtahi, head of Iran Pistachio Association, told Financial Tribune that the struggle with water shortage does not mean a total failure of the crop.
"Production of the nut will surely decline, but this does not mean Kerman's pistachio industry will be lost," he noted.