Iran keen on buying more PH bananas, pineapples

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) will ask Iran for reduced tariff for bananas in a bid to increase penetration in the huge market.

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DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he met with Iranian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Tanhaei on Friday to discuss trade between two countries.

At present, the tariff on bananas is pegged at 24 percent.

Piñol said Ambassador Tanhaei indicated that Iran has also a huge demand for pineapples and abaca, which is widely utilized in making tea bags and wellness products in his country.

For its part, the Tehran government is keen on bringing its fruits such as apples, cherry and pomegranate, as well as pistachios to Philippine markets.

The agriculture chief told Tanhaei that as part of the standard procedure, the DA is still finalizing the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) in apple fruit samples for pests.

“I’m still waiting for the results, and if everything turns out okay, rest assured that (the document on) importation of apples is ready for signing,” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, Tehran is also willing to collaborate with the Philippine government in research and development for rice, biotechnology and modern farming.

Piñol bared his plans to visit Iran in May to explore agriculture ventures with the country and lead in agri-fishery trade shows.

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