Jahrom: City of Dates and Citrus
The city of Jahrom is the capital of a department of the same name located in the south of the province of Fars. It is the third largest city of the province, after Shiraz and Kazzeroun.
The city of Jahrom is the capital of a department of the same name located in the south of the province of Fars. It is the third largest city of the province, after Shiraz and Kazzeroun. Jahrom is located 170 km from Shiraz (1004 km from Tehran) and has about 110 000 inhabitants. The population of the department amounts to nearly 260,000 souls, half of whom live in rural areas. The department is located in a mountainous and warm region, south of the Zagros mountain ranges.
The department of Jahrom covers an area of 5436 km². The reliefs cover 4 / 5th of the area of the department, but the city itself of Jahrom is in the middle of a vast plain. The average altitude of the department is 1050 meters above sea level. Like most parts of southern Iran, Jahrom has a warm climate, but the existence of mountains softens the air and promotes considerable abundance vegetation. In addition to steppe plant species in the highlands of the department, there are also forest tree species in hot regions of Iran, very resistant to drought such as konâr (jujube), gas (tamarix) and sarv-e kouhi (a species of acacia). The region has significant biodiversity, but the drought of recent years and the excessive hunting of certain animal species (especially large mammals and birds of prey) threaten the natural environment of this department.
The inhabitants of the city speak a local dialect from Persian, more or less close to that of the inhabitants of Shiraz. Almost all of the population is Twelver Shiite. The legend traces the foundation of the city to Esfandiyar, a mythological and sacred prince of Iranian legends. But according to historical documents, Jahrom was founded in the fifth century BC.. by Artaxerxes I (Ardeshir), fifth king Achaemenid (465-424 BC). The name of Jahrom is mentioned eight times in Ferdowsi's Shâhnâmeh (The Book of Kings) (940-1020), which presents it as a prosperous city of Fārs in pre-Islamic times. Archaeologists confirm the existence of many sites dating from the Sassanid period, including fortresses and fire temples.
Jahrom remains prosperous after the Islamization of the country. Under the Umayyad caliphs, the Muslims built the great fortress of Khorsheh, about twenty kilometers from Jahrom. Later, Nezam-ol-Molk (1018-1092), grand vizier of the Seljuks, renovates and consolidates this fortress. The Safavids (1501-1736), who are among the great builders in Iranian history, pay little attention to Jahrom. The most important monuments of this period are the mosque and the theological school of Khân built by a notable Jahrom at the time of Nâder Shah (1688-1747), then regent of Safavid king Soleyman II. We must therefore wait for the reign of the Zends dynasty (1750-1794), then the Qadjars (1786-1925) for Jahrom to enter a phase of renewal. Many buildings and services are then built in the city, including several urban and road caravanserais, cisterns as well as the covered bazaar of the city, all well preserved today.
Jahrom is an important agricultural hub of Fars and all of Iran. The townspeople and villages of the department produce wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, cotton and tobacco, but they excel in gardening. Date palms were planted in Jahrom for the first time in the 14th century. As able-bodied growers, the inhabitants of the region have succeeded in adapting the date palms to the local natural environment. In the 17th century, Jahrom was already an important center of date production. Today, there are more than 350,000 date palms in the gardens of the department. Gardening is practiced using traditional and semi-industrial methods. Among the different types of dates produced in Jahrom, so-called shâhâni ("royal") dates are among the best and tastiest in the world. The department of Jahrom occupies an important place in the production of dates in Iran. Note that according to the figures of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Iran is the world's third largest producer of dates (more than 1,000,000 tons) behind Egypt (1 400 000 tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (1 100 000 tonnes). But since Egyptian and Saudi dates are in high demand in their home country, Iran remains the largest exporter of dates in the world, given the variety and very good quality of its production.
The arboreal growers of Jahrom are also excellent producers of citrus fruits. They have in their orchards (25,000 hectares) more than 5,300,000 orange, lemon, mandarin and bitter orange trees. They produce more than 70 000 tonnes of oranges, 15 000 tonnes of mandarins and more than 140 000 tonnes of lemons each year. In fact, Shiraz's famous lemon or lemon juice comes largely from Jahrom. Iran is the seventh largest citrus producer in the world. After the province of Māzandâran (coast of the Caspian Sea), three provinces of southern Iran (Kermân, Hormozgân and Fârs) are the major producers of citrus in Iran.
Livestock is another resource for the inhabitants of rural areas of the department. However, industrialization is still limited and activities are carried out according to traditional methods, hence the relative weakness of productivity. Nevertheless, in recent years, several industrial poultry and cattle breeding units have been built in the department.
The weaving of carpets, kilims and jajjim (two-sided carpets) is the most important craft activity of the inhabitants. Every year, half of these products, made mainly in traditional workshops run by women, are exported to neighboring cities and a part abroad.
Jahrom's factories and industrial workshops are closely linked to two types of activities of the inhabitants of the region. There are several small factories of building materials (bricks, plaster, chippings and sands), which testifies to the prosperity of the building and construction sector at the local level. The most important factories of Jahrom are active in the field of the primary processing industry. Given the importance of date and citrus production at Jahrom, several factories offer packaging and packaging services to this sector. There is also a large flour mill and workshops for the production of lemon juice.
The most important infrastructures of the department are its assets for future development: here we must mention the hybrid cycle power plant (steam and gas) with an annual capacity of 1440 MW. Jahrom Airport was built in 1969 and is one of the oldest airport facilities in the province of Fârs. The railway connecting Shiraz and Bandar Abbas (under construction) will also pass through the city of Jahrom. After the victory of the Islamic revolution of 1979, the city also has a university infrastructure covering both public and private sectors. The Faculty of Medical Sciences at Jahrom is arguably the most prestigious academic institution in the city. Despite its significant potential, the department's tourism infrastructure is still insufficient.
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