Economy, Business And Markets

Greenhouses Running Out of Steam

Greenhouses Running Out of SteamGreenhouses Running Out of Steam

In Iran greenhouse farming is not economically viable because of the country’s diverse topography and climate, says a greenhouse owner.

Mohammad Reza Teimouri, who is also the first producer of physalis fruit in Iran, added that the harvest time of products grown in greenhouses usually coincides with the deluge of subtropical products in the market.

“This results in oversupply and sends prices tumbling,” Forsat-e Emrooz daily quoted Teimouri as saying.

Referring to high-interest loans farmers often receive, Teimouri asks, “How can they service loans with 15%-odd interest rate given the fact that their business is all but unprofitable?

“Officials at the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad seem to be aggressive promoters of greenhouse farming, but I can give you a thousand reasons why this industry is a loss-making one. [Abandoned] greenhouse structures on the outskirts of the cities are testament to my claim.”

Mehdi Qandi, a greenhouse owner in Hashtgerd, Alborz Province, said lack of refrigerated warehouses, poor management and marketing in the greenhouse towns are other reasons for the failure of many greenhouses.

Ramezan Tahmasebi, an agriculture expert, noted that even after 10 years into the implementation of Iran’s Vision Plan (2005-25), the greenhouse sector has achieved only 10% of its stated goals.

He believes issues such as construction of processing industries and creation of sales market went unnoticed at the time of building greenhouse towns.

“In other words, the stages before and after the launch of a greenhouse have been ignored,” he adds.

Construction of greenhouses in Iran started in the 2000s.

Based on the Vision Plan, 125,000 hectares of greenhouses need to be set up by the end of 2025. Up until now, greenhouses only cover an area of under 13,000 hectares.