Economy, Business And Markets

Canning Capitalizes on Agricultural Waste

Canning Capitalizes on Agricultural WasteCanning Capitalizes on Agricultural Waste

Most people go to visit the sick with several compotes or canned products, while the canning industry was originally set up to prevent food wastage and feed people in times of crisis such as war or earthquakes.

Investment in this sector can not only save tons of agricultural and meat products from going waste, but also help earn foreign exchange from imports, the Persian daily, Forsat-e Emrouz reported.

“According to the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, Iran produces more than 100 tons of agricultural products annually, 20% to 30% of which go waste. This amount can feed millions of people and is considered a great loss,” said Mohammad Mir-Razavi, chairman of the Syndicate of Canning Industry.

Over 6 million tons of tomatoes are annually used to produce 1 million tons of tomato paste. Some 400,000 tons of it are consumed in the country and 600,000 tons are exported in packages or wholesale form.

According to Mir-Razavi, if economic principles are followed and modern machinery are used, an added value of more than 30% can be attained.

“The canning industry has the least dependence on foreign technology in that the required machinery and metal canisters are produced domestically,” said Nasser Mohammadzadeh, production manager of Urum Ada food products company.

The agricultural raw material is available in the country, while imports are needed for some other products.

“For canned tuna, the fish is imported from Ghana, India and South Korea,” he said.

CEO of Nazchin tomato paste company, Reza Fard, says the food industry is among sectors that create the most jobs.

“Each canning factory needs at least 30 workers and given the number of factories, a total of 80,000 people are working in the industry,” he said, adding that Iranian canned products have an acceptable quality and are exported to Persian Gulf Arab countries, Central Asia, Russia and, in some cases, Canada and the US.

Referring to orders for buying tomato paste wholesale from Iran, Fard said the practice is not economically viable, since it would deprive producers of the potential added value that can be generated through proper packaging.