Accelerate Farm Modernization, Says Jahangiri

Accelerate Farm Modernization, Says Jahangiri
Accelerate Farm Modernization, Says Jahangiri

At a recent meeting on’ agricultural sector strategies’, Eshagh Jahangiri, first vice-president, urged the agriculture jihad ministry to accelerate the implementation of agricultural and irrigation modernization projects.

The projects include equipping and modernization of paddy fields in the northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan Provinces, IRNA reported.

“In line with achieving the general principles of resistance economy, the government is making efforts to implement important plans in various sectors within a specific timeframe,” he said, stressing that “the implementation of the plans should be accelerated.”

Jahangiri also pointed to the water crisis and problems caused by drought, and said it is imperative to conserve water use through modernization of irrigation systems. “The water crisis has made water resources management a necessity.”

Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif, head of Funds for National Development, Mohamad Reza Farzin, economic advisor to the president, Masoud Nili, and head of the Management and Planning Organization (MPO), Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, also attended the meeting.

Minister of Agriculture Jihad Mahmoud Hojjati presented a report on agricultural management as well as the obstacles to implementation of plans in this sector. He gave details on the funds required for the projects.

Hojjati also said the agricultural trade balance is in the red, having fallen to $ -5.5 billion from $ -8 billion, due to increase in production rates, export of agricultural products and despite the lower prices paid for imported products.

 Watershed Plan

The minister pointed to the use of two new efficient methods of irrigation including drip irrigation and subsurface irrigation and said “these methods can reduce water consumption as well as increase productivity.”

He also announced a plan to bring 550 hectares of land in Khuzestan and Ilam Provinces under cultivation.

“We are planning to implement watershed schemes across the country and an 11-million hectare plan is under consideration,” he said, adding that increasing productive employment opportunities in the agriculture sector, raising the income of farmers and promotion of their welfare, are among the plan’s objectives.

Development of controlled environment agriculture centers (greenhouses) are among other important plans of the ministry. Many farm produce including cucumber, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses, which help reduce water consumption by 92%.

Reforestation of the country, development of aquaculture (fish farming in cages), implementation of strategic agricultural production and development of mechanized agriculture are other plans of agriculture jihad discussed at the meeting.