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Tree Farming Gains Momentum in North Khorasan Province

Iran’s demand for timber is estimated to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.Iran’s demand for timber is estimated to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years.

Tree farming is gradually gaining momentum in the northeastern province of North Khorasan, to the relief of both economists and environmentalists.

Mohammad Hassannejad, director of the provincial office of Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization, was quoted as saying by the organization’s news website that some 18 hectares of timber farms have been established in the province so far this year.

“This helps create sustainable jobs, increase output and fight timber smuggling,” he said.

Environmental experts say timber farming is essential to helping take pressure off Iran’s forests to meet the country’s growing demand for wood.

Barely 10% of Iran’s timber demand are supplied from domestic forests, which is the lowest level it has ever been.

About 76% of wood needs are met by tree farms that have helped take off the pressure on forests. A tree farm is a privately owned tract of land where trees are grown for commercial use. There are 220,000 hectares of tree farms in Iran.

Iran’s demand for timber is estimated to reach 13 million cubic meters in five years, double the current 6.5 million cubic meters.

Aside from expanding timber farming, officials have lined up a number of other measures to alleviate the pressure on forests, such as increasing the import of timber from Russia and Ukraine in an effort to reduce logging in the country.

Tehran currently imports 1 million cubic meters of timber from Russia and Ukraine annually, but wants to increase the volume four times. The end goal is to import a total of 10 million cubic meters of wood every year by 2021.

Forests cover 14 million hectares of Iran—less than 10% of the land area—which is relatively small compared to the global average, but nothing short of a blessing given the country’s geography.

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