Economy, Domestic Economy

Plan to Transfer All Vegetable Farms to Greenhouses

Plan to Transfer All Vegetable Farms to Greenhouses
Plan to Transfer All Vegetable Farms to Greenhouses

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years, a deputy minister said.

“As such, some 10 billion cubic meters of water will be preserved per year,” Ali Akbar Mehrfard was also quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying.

According to Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati, around 1,100 hectares of greenhouses were constructed in the country over the 11 months to February 18. 

“Plans are underway to increase the figure to 1,500 hectares by the yearend (March 20),” he said. 

According to Seyyed Mohammad Kiyaei, director of the Greenhouses, Medicinal Plants and Mushroom Department of the Agriculture Ministry, Iran is home to only 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses. 

“Last Iranian year’s (March 2015-16) figures show there were more than 10,000 hectares of greenhouses under cultivation across the country,” he said, adding that there is need to increase the area to 48,355 hectares over 10 years.

According to First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, one of the main priorities of the government is to develop industrial greenhouses. 

“This method of agriculture would help create jobs and conserve both water and soil,” he said. 

Last year, Aad Verbakel, founder of Dutch agricultural firm VB Group, signed a preliminary deal to build a 20-hectare greenhouse in Iran.

“This large-scale modern greenhouse complex, which will meet the need for local food and flower production, will be realized by VB Greenhouse Projects,” the Dutch firm reported on its website.

The greenhouse construction division of VB Group was active in several Iranian greenhouse projects until sanctions were tightened over the country’s nuclear program. The contract was signed during the visit of a delegation of 45 companies led by Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp in May.

Iran has been working with Dutch companies to set up two other greenhouses, one in western Lorestan Province and another in the Aras Free Trade Zone in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The biggest greenhouse in the south of Iran was launched in December in Roudan County of Hormozgan Province.

The greenhouse—constructed in an 11-hectare plot of land by the private sector—has created 120 direct and over 250 indirect jobs.

Bell pepper is the main product cultivated in this greenhouse, which is exported to six countries, including Russia.

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