Fierce competition from imported fruit

Persimmon farmers in Duhok struggle to market their produce despite growing local popularity

DUHOK, November 21 — Despite the growing popularity of persimmons in Duhok’s markets, area farmers are having a hard time marketing and selling their local produce because of Turkish and Iranian competition, despite beating foreign imports in price at 1,000 Iraqi dinars per kilogram.

Farmer Sadiq Harki from Dinarta district said the fruit was a long-term investment for him. “Persimmons are a new fruit in Kurdistan, and there are three varieties in the region, with an annual production of over five tons in Akre. I planted around 100 persimmon trees ten years ago and began harvesting and selling their fruits six years ago. We started the harvest season a few days ago, and it is expected to continue until the end of December.”

Zulfikar Dinarti, another persimmon farmer, shared, “Our crop is good, and the soil in Kurdistan is very suitable for persimmons as they require minimal water. The persimmon tree is resistant and does not suffer from diseases. Our problem lies in marketing the local persimmon crop in the presence of Turkish and Iranian produce, despite selling ours at only 1,000 dinars per kilogram. The Dinarta region is known for figs, pomegranates, sumac, and almonds, but persimmons are a new crop being cultivated in the area.”