Despite the domestic hurdles and foreign challenges, Iran is still among the top global producers and exporters of pistachios. After relinquishing the top ranking to the United States in 2012, it regained it in 2015 as a result of better access to international markets due to the removal of sanctions and a drop in US production.
Iran and the United States together account for 70-80% of global pistachio production and have been competing for the top spot as both the biggest producer and exporter over the past several years. Also recently, Australia, Turkey and Spain have increased production, thereby allowing them to join the export market, yet another factor that could exacerbate the problems of the Iranian pistachio industry in the near term.
Several plans have been formulated to reduce the impact of the water shortage, some of which have already been implemented with success. These include measures aimed at managing the use of water to help maintain underground reserves.
In addition, the government wants to encourage water conservation by allocating funds to farmers to help them buy modern irrigation equipment to replace traditional systems. Many experts advocate developing farms in regions with better soil and water resources, along with using modern cultivation methods and new types of pistachios with higher resistance to failure and disease.