Pesticide-Free Rice Farms

Pesticide-Free Rice Farms  Pesticide-Free Rice Farms

The Food and Agriculture Organization is promoting pesticide-free rice farming across 40 hectares of farmland in Azbaran village in Fereydunkenar, Mazandaran Province through monetary assistance.  

A total of 1,000 hectares of rice fields in Fereydunkenar have been cultivated by the regional office of the Agricultural Jihad Organization using the method, 40 hectares in collaboration with the FAO.

“The move is aimed at producing healthy rice in standard packages,” said Mohammad Reza Riyahi, director of the provincial organization, IRNA reported.

In this method, no chemical pesticide or manure is used in any of the stages of farming. Trichogramma wasps are used to control rice pest including stem borers, and bird droppings from the thousands of migratory birds which arrive in Azbaran over the winter provides the best natural manure, said Riyahi.

In collaboration with the Rural and Nomadic Women Affairs Office of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry, the FAO has recruited 15 women in the village to produce standard rice bags.

Each hectare of farmland produces an average five tons of rice. The price of the product is between 30% and 40% higher than rice that is produced using the regular method.

Riyahi stressed that all the products of the province are healthy, but “pesticide-free rice is obviously healthier.”

Around 6,200 hectares of farmland in Fereydunkenar are under rice cultivation. Mazandaran Province has a total of 230,000 hectares of paddy fields. Rice cultivation is currently in the tillering stage.