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Agriculture Beyond Borders
Economy, Domestic Economy

Agriculture Beyond Borders

In the light of the worsening water crisis in the country, the ministry of agriculture is pursuing the implementation of an ‘Agriculture Beyond Borders’ program, which allows for farming in foreign countries, Mahdi Yasayi, the CEO of Livestock Protection Company (affiliated to the ministry of agriculture), told IRNA on Wednesday.
Observing that similar programs are practiced by countries lacking proper condition for agricultural, including some Arab states in the Persian Gulf, he suggested adopting the method to help increase production of food and forage crops.
The ‘Agriculture Beyond Borders’ program, approved by the government in September 2013, allows for growing in foreign countries.
 Objections
The program has also drawn criticism from some, arguing that the full potential for agricultural activities within the country has not yet been utilized.
Head of the agriculture, water and natural resources commission in Iran’s chamber of commerce, Ali Hadizadeh, objected to the program, pointing that while there still remain unused capacities in domestic agriculture, shifting the investments to other countries was not a wise decision.
Instead, he suggested the use of modern irrigation systems and adopting crop patterns suitable for the country’s environmental conditions in a bid to increase water efficiency in the sector.   

 International Cooperation
International cooperation in agriculture has been on the government’s agenda over the past years. In a meeting between director general of the agriculture ministry’s department for international affairs, Hooman Fathi, and chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Kuhi Sato on Sunday, the two stressed expansion of agricultural cooperation, IRNA reported.
Noting that several joint projects are currently underway in Iran in close cooperation with JICA, Fathi mentioned the water resource management project in the northern Golestan Province, forest and pasture management program in the western Chaharmahal-and-Bakhtiari Province and mechanization of rice production in Haraz district of Mazandaran Province as successful examples of such joint projects.
Kuhi Sato, highlighted Haraz Center for Application of Modern Technology in Agriculture as one of the successful joint projects between JICA and the ministry of agriculture, noting that the center was founded in 2011 to provide training and education in the area of rice cultivation to experts from Iran and other regional countries.

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