Filipinos may soon have a taste of Iranian apples, as the government of Iran is keen on bringing its produce to Philippine markets.

Iranian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Tanhaei met on Friday (January 13, 2017) with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol to discuss the request of the Iranian government.

Piñol said told Tanhaei that as part of the standard procedure, the Philippine Department of Agriculture 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.

The DA chief expressed his excitement for possible ventures because of the huge market for tropical fruits particularly banana and pineapples in Iran. As such, he requested the Teheran government to reduce the tariff on bananas.

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

The ambassador said Iran is also interested in exporting cherry, pomegranate and pistachios to the country.

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

The Secretary mentioned that the Department is willing to assist Iranian companies interested in business ventures on banana,  in identifying possible sites for the project.

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

Piñol bared his plans to visit Iran in May to explore agriculture ventures with the country and lead in agri-fishery trade shows. (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)