Baku, Azerbaijan, July 19
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Improving wheat cultivation productivity could save Iran 10 billion cubic meters of water per year, said Abbas Keshavarz, the Iranian deputy agriculture minister.
"Iran needs over 20 billion cubic meters of water per year for wheat cultivation. Improving wheat cultivation productivity by two folds could save the country 10 billion cubic meters of water per year," Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Keshavarz as saying on July 19.
One cubic meter of water is needed to produce 500 grams of wheat, he said, adding that in line with the goal of productivity improvement, 1200 grams of wheat should be produced per one cubic meter of water.
Currently, more than 20 billion cubic meters of water is consumed to produce 10 million metric tons of wheat in the country, he noted.
Keshavarz said in Feb. that water consumption in Iran is nearly double of indices announced by the Food and Agriculture Organization.
He added that based on FAO indices, extracting 40 percent of water resources is allowed in each country. This is while 75 percent of water resources are being extracted in the country.
Iran needs to import 2-2.5 million metric tons of wheat in the current Iranian fiscal year, which began on March 21.
The country's wheat consumption is about 11 million metric tons.
Based on the Iranian Customs Administration report, Iran imported 6.954 million metric tons of wheat, worth $2.289 billion, in the past Iranian fiscal year.