People, Environment

DOE Criticizes Agriculture Waste Mismanagement

DOE Criticizes Agriculture Waste Mismanagement
DOE Criticizes Agriculture Waste Mismanagement

Poor management of agricultural waste is depriving Iran of a means of improving soil fertility, an official at the Department of Environment said.

In an interview with ISNA, Mohammad Javad Soroush, director of the Water and Soil Office at the department, described agricultural waste as an "important resource" whose value must be acknowledged by the Ministry of Agriculture. 

This type of waste is often converted into organic fertilizer and energy in countries with advanced farming techniques, but this is not common practice in Iran where even irrigation systems are largely outdated and wasteful.

"The vast extent of our soil lacks sufficient organic material, which can be redressed by using compost derived from agricultural waste," he said.

According to Soroush, the sector produces around 170 million tons of waste every year, most of which can be reused as compost.

"Compost production is not widespread and that's due to poor management of agricultural waste," he said.

The official noted that a small amount of waste is dangerous, as it comprises chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

"Last year alone, DOE and the Ministry of Agriculture together collected 500 tons of dangerous waste materials," he said, adding that the ministry disposed them.

Agricultural waste management is based on the principles of four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. 

Waste disposal is only a last resort option in the developed world.

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