Sunday, 30 August, 2020

Iran agricultural output surge by over 28% in 6 years: Minister

Iran has seen a major growth in its agricultural sector as output has increased by more than 28 percent in six years ending March 2020.

Iran’s agriculture minister Kazem Khavazi said on Tuesday that total output of agricultural products had topped 125 million metric tons at the end of the past calendar year.

Khavazi said output would further grow by five million tons by March 2021 and by another two million tons when the current administrative government leaves office in August next year.

The minister, speaking to the official IRNA news agency, said production of major staples like wheat and rice had significantly increased over the past years, adding that annual wheat output stood at 13.7 million tons in March this year, up 47 percent from late March 2014.

He said Iran’s rice production will reach 2.7 million tons by the end of the current calendar year, giving Iran a considerable degree of self-sufficiency on the staple.

Khavazi said that the use of irrigation in agriculture has increased to cover nearly 45 percent of farming lands across Iran, adding that the number of tractors and combine harvesters in the country has also risen by 112,000 and 10,000, respectively, compared to March 2014.

Better weather conditions and growing government support had led to higher yields in Iran’s strong agriculture sector. That comes as growing exports of agrifood to neighboring countries have also incentivized Iranian farmers to expand cultivation for various crops.

Experts say booming agricultural exports have helped Iran reduce its reliance on crude sales as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from oil to make it more resilient against foreign sanctions.

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