Northern Paddy Fields to Be Modernized

Northern Paddy Fields to Be Modernized

In the first phase of the plan “to equip, modernize and integrate” the country’s paddy fields, 105 hectares will be modernized by the end of the Iranian year (March 20, 2016).
Paddy fields in the northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan supply the majority of domestic rice demand.
So far, $10.6 million has been allocated for execution of the plan and 60% of the amount has been paid till now.
The Ministry of Agricultural Jihad has signed a contract with a Chinese company by which the latter will implement the modernization plan within three years, said Reza Azimi, executor of the plan.
In the 18 years since the farmlands modernization plan was proposed studies were never conducted. “Therefore, we always have been facing problems like farmers resistance to modernization,” IRNA quoted him as saying.
“But now for the first time the Rouhani government has allocated funds to conduct expert studies,” on farm modernization,” he added.
Azimi also said that during the last 18 years, 110 hectares of farmlands across the country have been, equipped, modernized and integrated and 80% of the modernization plans have been implemented in paddy fields in the three provinces.
Last year, $606,000 was allocated to implement the plan in Mazandaran Province which has been increased to $4 million this year.
In line with achieving the general principles of the resistance economy, a set of economic principles proposed by the Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, to reduce reliance on oil revenues and boost domestic production to counter sanctions, the government is making efforts to undertake revolutionary methods in the agriculture sector within a specific time frame,” he said, stressing that “the implementation of the plans should be accelerated.”
On the water crisis and problems caused by consecutive years of drought, he said it is imperative to conserve water use through modernization of irrigation systems.
 “The looming national water crisis has made water resources management a pressing necessity.”
He also pointed to mechanization of rice production and said the measure can cut costs and increase production. Mechanized rice farming can reduce production costs by 50% and boost output by 15%.

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