Economy, Domestic Economy

Food Share Big in GDP

Food Share Big in GDP
Food Share Big in GDP

As food accounts for one fourth of household expenses, 25 percent of the gross domestic production in Iran is also dependent on food products, head of the food and drug administration said.

“Iran largely depends on imports for its food supply, the amount of which adds up to 10 billion dollars annually,” Rasoul Dinarvand stated as he addressed a conference held in Tehran on the occasion of World Food Day 2014. Rice, wheat, and soybeans are among main food products imported by Iran.

“Iran is geographically placed on arid lands and, therefore, agriculture here heavily depends on climate conditions,” Dinarvand said. Pointing to the fact that food import outweighs export, he noted that the annual export of farmed products raises a total of $5 billion in revenue.

 With the aim of further increasing food security, stringent regulations for rice import are being imposed, he said. “The official stressed that to make sure that the imported products will not harm peoples’ health, the monitoring of rice import is now done in several stages which include controls at the producer country, import procedures, and the entire distribution process. Upholding the existing standards and regulations of rice import, in the current year, the import of rice will be 20 percent more than the amount of rice produced within the country.”

On the issue of monitoring the use of pesticides in agriculture, Dinarvand added that “to respond to public concerns, a workgroup will be created, which will organize both the distribution and the use of pesticides.”

Non-certified contraband pesticides are currently being used inappropriately and at large amounts in several areas across the country,” he warned.

Elsewhere in his speech, Dinarvand stated that the health ministry is planning to provide food supplements free of charge to citizens in rural and suburban areas. Another plan is to enrich food products, such as bread enriched with vitamin D.

On the use of palm oil in food industry, Dinarvand said that the ministry has been monitoring the process since the beginning of the year. “The use of palm oil in food production has now been reduced to 30 percent from 50 percent in March 2014,” he said.