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Education Deficiency in Agriculture Sector
Economy, Domestic Economy

Education Deficiency in Agriculture Sector

The number of agriculturists holding bachelor degrees hardly amounts to 1% of the total agriculturists in the country, lamented Mohsen Movahedian, member of Iran’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Engineering Organization (IAEO), in a conference held in Qom Province, late last month, IRNA quoted him as saying.

He described the lack of academic knowledge in the agro sector as the main reason behind the current water crisis.

Noting that underground water reservoirs account for 60% of the country’s water resources, he said: “Although Iran is located in an arid/semi-arid zone, water resources are being exhausted through inefficient methods regardless of water shortage due to utilization mismanagement.”

  Measures to Take

Pointing to the IAEO’s programs aimed at reforming the structure of human resources in the agro sector, he announced that the organization has held more than one million and five thousand hours of training courses for agriculturists since its establishment. “To fulfill the goals of sustainable development, the structure of human resources should be revised with the aim of improving academic knowledge,” he concluded.

Efficient management of water resources in the agriculture sector through the use of modern irrigation, and providing farmers with water quotas based on the area of their land as well as the crops they produce can be a practical solution to tackle water shortages.

Also, equipping all the wells with water meters to manage the consumption of the agriculture sector is another plan outlined by authorities as an effective solution.

  Alarming Figures

While one third of Iran’s total area is regarded as suitable land for agricultural production, most of it is not under cultivation due to poor soil and lack of adequate water distribution. Only 12% of the total land area is under cultivation and less than one-third of the cultivated area is irrigated, while the rest is devoted to dry farming.

In developed countries, the agriculture sector consumes 30% of total water supplies, and this figure stands at 70% in developing and under-developed countries. According to a report by the Department of Environment, in Iran, close to 90% of water resources are allocated to the agriculture sector, while around 60% of this amount is wasted by farmers.

Poor water productivity is attributed to seepage, low tariffs and poor irrigation resulting in the waste of 60 billion cubic meters of water every year.

Although the global standard for drawing water from underground resources is 40% per annum, in Iran, this figure stands at a staggering 80%. This water exhaustion can lead to total destruction of agriculture, increased land subsidence in the plains, and diminished food security.

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