By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran has stopped importing red meat in support of domestic production, ISNA quoted Ahmadreza Seyedalian, an Iranian agriculture ministry official, as saying on Dec. 10.
In the past, as much red meat as the domestic market needed was imported, so that some 150,000 tons of red meat were imported annually, he added.
But, new decisions have been taken to stop importing red meat and support domestic production, he said.
In July, the Mehr News Agency quoted Iran's veterinary organization deputy director Mohsen Meshkat as saying that Iran is finalizing a deal with New Zealand to import meat from that country.
New Zealand is one of the best producers of meat in the world, he said, adding that Iran is currently importing meat from Brazil, Australia, India, and New Zealand.
The organization is also planning to sign deals with China and Pakistan for importing meat processed products, he added.
Iran is currently exporting meat to South Korea, according to him.
Meanwhile, in January, IRNA quoted Saeid Soltani-Sarvestani, the managing director of the national union of animal farmers, as saying that Iran is near to attaining self-sufficiency in producing red meat as just 10 percent of the domestic need is currently imported.
Plans are underway to increase red meat production and reduce market prices, he added.
Currently, around 970,000 tons of red meat is produced in the country, he said, adding that the figure is projected to be boosted by 705,000 tons over the course of five years.