Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 4 / Trend R. Zamanov
Iran can earn $20 billion worth of agricultural products by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (March 2016), the head of Iran's Parliament (Majlis) Agriculture Commission Abbas Rajaee said on Nov. 4.
"Iran needs to invest in the agricultural sector instead of paying for agricultural products imports," the IRNA News Agency quoted Rajaee as saying.
"Iran plans to import 12 billion dollars of agricultural products in the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 20, 2014)," he said, adding that investing the mentioned amount in the agriculture sector could have flourished the sector.
Iran exported 4.2 billion dollars worth of agricultural products in the previous calendar year, which ended on March 20.
Deputy Iranian Agriculture Jihad Minister Naser Tavakoli said in February the garden products' output of Iran has increased by more than 4.5-fold in the past 34 years.
"Iran currently produces some 118 million tons of garden products per year," he said, noting that 34 years ago Iran's garden products' output stood at 25 million tons.
It is while the country's population has doubled in the past 34 years.
Iran is the Middle East and North Africa's greatest producer of garden products, and ranks 8th or 9th in the world, an official with the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad said on October 22.
Iran has been ranked between 8th and 10th in global fruit production in different years.
In the productions of pomegranates and pistachios Iran ranks first, in dates and cherries, 3rd, 4th in the production of apples and walnuts, and 7th in producing citrus fruits. 50 kinds of fruits are grown in Iran.
The record for pomegranate production is 100 tons in a hectare of land, 146 ton for apples and 70 tons for oranges.