Economy, Domestic Economy

Tehran Hosts Seedex 2017

Per capita consumption of edible oil in Iran currently stands at 20 kilograms, which exceeds the global average by 8 kilograms.Per capita consumption of edible oil in Iran currently stands at 20 kilograms, which exceeds the global average by 8 kilograms.

Iran imported some $1 billion worth of raw vegetable oil and exported around $76 million worth of edible oils in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17), the deputy head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran for resource management expansion said.

Amir Talebi made the statement on the sidelines of the First International Exhibition of Edible Oils, Oilseeds and Related Products, Machinery and Industries, also known as Seedex 2017, which is being held in Tehran.

The official noted that the imports were made from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the UAE while edible oils were mainly exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan, IRNA reported.

“Per capita consumption of edible oils in Iran currently stands at 20 kilograms, which exceeds the global average by 8 kilograms,” he said.

Akbar Sebqati, the secretary of Oil Extraction Guild Union, said Iran’s oil extraction factories have a nominal production capacity of 5 million tons of raw vegetable oil per year, though only 40% of this capacity have been mobilized at present.

Sebqati believes that if fully utilized, the country’s oil extraction capacity can create 3,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs.

Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture plans to achieve 70% self-sufficiency in the production of oilseeds in the next 10 years to curtail the import of oilseeds and vegetable oil.

Domestic demand for raw vegetable oil stands at about 1.5 million tons per year, the manager of Oilseeds Project carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture said earlier in the year.

“This year, the government is planning to purchase 400,000 tons of oilseeds from local farmers, from which close to 120,000 tons of raw vegetable oil will be produced. This will meet 8% of domestic demand, up from 5% the year before,” Alireza Mohajer was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

The current Iranian year started on March 21.

The office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Iran began a technical cooperation program called “Capacity Building for Increasing Sustainable Oilseed Production Focused on Soybean Value” in a workshop held in Tehran in June, which will be carried out over 2017-19, the office said in a press release.

The main objectives of the project include building capacity in the public and private sectors for using innovative methods in producing sustainable crops and applying the methods to the oilseed value chain as well as integrating the latest technologies into cereal-based production systems.

Highlighting the importance of this project for food security in Iran, Fabio Grita, the FAO representative in Iran, said the objective is to reduce the dependency on foreign countries in this respect by producing part of the need for oilseeds in Iran.

“The project will be bringing here [Iran] experts from FAO and different countries, and build cooperation with international organizations specialized in oilseed production,” he said.

Mohsen Keshmiri, the secretary of Iranian Association of Margarine, also said on Tuesday that the nominal capacity to produce margarine in Iran amounts to 300,000 tons, while the industry works at around 23% of its capacity, producing only 70,000 tons of the product.

Iranian and foreign producers from 11 countries are showcasing their latest products and services in Seedex 2017 that opened in Tehran’s Goft-o-Gou Park on Nov. 28 and will run through Dec. 1.

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