Economy, Domestic Economy

IKIA Flower Export Terminal to Open by Yearend

IKIA Flower Export Terminal to Open by Yearend
IKIA Flower Export Terminal to Open by Yearend

The Ministry of Agricultural Jihad hopes that a special terminal at Imam Khomeini International Airport for export of flowers and plants will become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016).

“The construction of a special terminal to facilitate the export of flowers and plants started in 2006 but the project came to a halt due to shortage of fund. It has so far achieved 85% physical progress,” IRNA quoted director of ornamental plants, medicinal herbs and edible mushrooms department at the ministry, Seyyed Mohammad Kiyaei as saying.

Noting that the project’s completion requires an estimated 280 to 300 billion rials ($8.5 to $9 billion at market exchange rate), the official called on Keshavarzi Bank—as the project’s financer— to speed up the process of raising the required fund.

He also said that Iranian researchers have developed new varieties of gerbera flower, adding that the country can start exporting these flowers only after registering the plants and receiving the required seed and plant certifications.

“If the newly developed varieties of gerbera flower can meet the domestic demand in terms of quantity and color diversity, we will definitely ban the flower’s imports in the near future,” he said.

According to Kiyaei, once the new flower is registered, the private sector will be provided with the required incentives and facilities to grow the plant to meet the demands of both domestic and international markets.

 Greenhouse for Water Conservation

Kiyaei further announced plans by the ministry to increase the area under greenhouse cultivation by 3,500 hectares per year, noting that the move would lead to considerable saving in water consumption.

“Growing tomatoes and cucumber in greenhouse requires only one-tenth the water used in open-field production. This would spare as much as 220,000 hectares of agricultural land and save up to 3.2 billion cubic meters of water,” he noted.

To further reduce water consumption in the agricultural sector, the official said the ministry plans to implement rootstock grafting method in gardens.