The head of Iran’s Fruit and Vegetable Union has announced that the price of government-subsidized produce will rise by 10 percent on the Eve of the Iranian New Year.

ILNA quoted Hossein Mohajeran saying that shopping for New Year’s Eve fruits and vegetables will begin on Sunday, and in 250 stores across Tehran the produce will be offered at government-subsidized prices.

Mohajeran previously had said there would be no sudden spikes in prices during the New Year’s shopping season.

Last February, Reza Nourani, the head of the Fruit Exporters and Importers Union, told ILNA that Iran is one of the world’s top eight producers of agricultural products, but the decline in rain in recent years has led to the import of oranges and apples. That began a trend, he added, that has led to fruit imports being highly unregulated.

Nourian maintained: “In view of the rise in exchange rates, importing fruit is an erroneous policy.”

The head of the Dried Fruits and Nuts Union has announced that the prices of some of these products have risen by 20 to 50 percent in recent months, which means that New Year’s baskets of dried fruits and nuts will cost more.

Experts have blamed rising prices on a lack of market management and the government’s deregulation of imports. They predict that household budgets will be hit hard by the rising prices, especially during the Norooz, New Year celebrations.