Halabja increases yield of pomegranates, adding other countries to export list
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Halabja province is one of the most famous pomegranates producers in the Middle East and the world.
Thanks to Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) support for the agricultural sector, Halabja—the autonomous region’s smallest province—successfully exported its famous fruits to Britain for the first time.
Halabja traders received requests from Germany, France, and Italy to export pomegranates, after they had already succeeded in delivering the “red gold” to the United Kingdom. The pomegranates of Halabja arrived in Britain about two weeks ago.
Traders say they can export over 500 tons of autumn fruit abroad annually and that they want to make Halabja pomegranates a global brand.
Fereydoun Namdar, a pomegranate exporter, underlined the need to focus on the scientific benefits of pomegranates, so they can be stored properly while they await export.
The trader touched on the advantages that Halabja pomegranates have compared to others. He pointed out that Kurdistan’s pomegranate trees “are distinguished, as they grow without chemical substances, and the fruit color is natural. [The fruit] is dark red in some countries because they treat it with added materials.”
“The Kurdistan Region’s pomegranates are distinguished by their natural red color, and we can make it a trademark,” Namdar added.
Farmers harvest pomegranates annually in early October based on scientific recommendations to preserve the fruit’s quality and nutritional value. The pomegranates are placed in cool and dry places to prevent them from spoiling before they are prepared for export abroad.
“There are farmers who do not reap the fruits of the pomegranate except for when it rains, after which [the fruit] falls and its grains are scattered,” Namdar told Kurdistan 24. “But we made it easier and provided refrigerators, and we bought the crop from 25 farms.”
The lack of efficient storage facilities has directly impacted Halabja’s farmers who have watched their crops spoil in recent years. After government support, the farmers can now preserve their crops in special storage units before they export them or turn them into vinegar and juice.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany