Farming, Fisheries to Help Cut the Dole Queues

Farming, Fisheries to Help Cut the Dole QueuesFarming, Fisheries to Help Cut the Dole Queues

Two employment generation schemes in agriculture and fisheries were approved recently and a MoU signed for their implementation, at a meeting of the Supreme Labor Council headed by First Vice-President Ishaq Jahangiri.

The schemes include allocation of 1,000 hectares to construct greenhouses, and production of thousands of tons of fish in cages in northern and southern waters of the country, in particular in Makran region.

Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sistan-Baluchestan, along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The goal of the schemes is to create sustainable employment, develop exports, increase economic production and food security, and conserve water resources.

Jahangiri expressed hope that the schemes would be implemented soon “as they will have a positive impact on employment and production in the country,” Iranian Agriculture News Agency (IANA) reported.

He said tackling unemployment are top priorities of the government. The schemes were proposed by the ministries of agriculture jihad, and cooperatives, labor and social welfare and the Management and Planning Organization (MPO).

“A large number of educated youth in the country are unemployed and we should help them by expanding the labor market,” Jahangiri said.

The ever-expanding dole queues have been a major concern of the government that took office in the summer of 2013. One of the other major concerns of the Rouhani administration is the plummeting production sector which has borne the brunt of international sanctions imposed on Iran because of the nuclear program. However, this is being taken care of given last month’s ‘historical deal’ between Tehran and the six major powers that will put to rest the brutal sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

Recent reports have it that the relevant organizations and economic experts are pooling minds to help give new meaning to growth also in the rural regions that should curb the massive migration from rural to urban areas by the large numbers seeking jobs in the already saturated labor market.

Massive joblessness, both in the villages and large cities, has become a growing concern for most families because their children in increasing numbers are coming out of universities every year only to find out that there is no work for them. The latest reports put the unemployment rate at close to 14% but it is believed that the number is much higher because when the sanctions were taking a high toll, companies and factories were forced to lay off workers or close down.

 Accurate Data

Employment statistics are often contradictory causing confusion, he said. “Accurate figures are needed for proper planning in the labor market.”

He directed the MPO to provide “a detailed report” on job statistics.

Increasing wastage of water in agriculture is also a major concern as water resources are running out due to scarce rainfall. Consecutive years of drought and growing water scarcity calls for new approaches in water management.

The amount of water consumed in greenhouses is significantly less when compared to open fields; therefore the scheme will help conserve large quantities of water in the agriculture sector, which is the biggest consumer and uses almost 70% of the depleting resources.

Further, the method of cultivating fish in cages or baskets by using existing water resources, instead of building artificial water ponds for the purpose, will also help conserve water reserves.