Rapeseed Output to Increase

Rapeseed Output to IncreaseRapeseed Output to Increase

The area under rapeseed cultivation in the country has been expanded by 30,000 hectares for the current farming year (September-August) to help meet demand for edible vegetable oils.

“In the last farming year (ended September 21), land under rapeseed cultivation was 40,000 hectares; the area has been increased to 70,000 hectares for the current farming year,” said Abbas Keshavarz, cultivation deputy at Agriculture Jihad, during his tour of rapeseed fields of Dehloran County, Ilam Province, IRNA reported.

“The country’s annual herbal oil extraction capacity is 4 million tons, while domestic demand is 5.1 million tons.”

About 50,000 tons of rapeseed was harvested in the past farming year. Production is expected to reach 120,000 tons in the current farming year.

Pointing to the large potential in rapeseed oil production, he said, “Due to the low water consumption of rapeseed and given the severity of water crisis in Iran, we should shift to crops that require less water, namely rapeseed.”

Rapeseed is one of the most important oilseed crops worldwide and there is a great capacity for cultivating one of its drought-tolerant genotypes, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. “Financial support and loans are available for farmers who are willing to grow rapeseed,” Keshavarz said.

Pointing to the guaranteed purchases of the key crop, he said farmers can sell any amount of the crop they produce.  Each kilogram of the seed is priced at $7.  Rapeseed farming started in Iran in 1999. Last year cultivation workshops were held for farmers in nine provinces.

The edible oil produced from the rapeseed is called canola.  Consumption of the oil is common and is claimed not only to be completely safe for human and animal consumption, but also to be among the healthiest of plant-derived oils, having relatively low amount of saturated fat with high content of polyunsaturated fats. It is also used as a source of biodiesel.