Iran's cotton production drops, prices rise amid US sanctions
Tehran, Iran, Jan.25
Before 1979, Iran was one of the major exporters of cotton, with only 100,000 tons of cotton exported to 21 countries of the world from Golestan province, the CEO of Iran's Cotton Fund Company Mohammad Hossein Kaviani told Trend.
Meanwhile, in recent years, the cultivation of cotton in the country has reduced, and yet Iran didn't need to import cotton, he said.
Overall, Iran's cotton production has declined in recent years.
"According to unofficial statistics, this year, we have more than 150,000 hectares of rice cultivation in Golestan province," he said. "As for cotton, we had about 180,000 hectares of cotton cultivation in the Golestan province and it has become 10,000, so since 2003 cotton imports have started."
“We imported 43,000 tons this year, and we need at least 20,000 tons of imports by the end of the year,” Kaviani said.
“Due to the rise in prices for other agricultural products, the export license and the subsidy that other countries give to cotton production to keep cotton prices low, farmers have been discouraged from cultivating this product, and the whole cotton cultivation is currently about 70,000 hectares in the country,” he added.
“Many cotton factories were shut down and many agricultural workers got laid off,” Kaviani added.
He said that the cotton guaranteed rates did not increase compared to other products, and the farmers were also thinking of their own interests, preferring to pursue less labor intensive crops.
“This year, the guaranteed purchase price of cotton was 32,000 rial ($0.7). Recent foreign exchange fluctuations and the fact that government did not allocate the official currency rate for cotton, have caused rise in the cost of cotton,” said Kaviani.
"We hope that the policies of the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad are in the direction of increasing the cultivation of cotton," he said. "In this regard, we need to promote the mechanization and import of cotton combine, as well as the import of better, more productive seeds.”
“The price of cotton is now close to $2 and we suggested that if cotton is to be imported, there should be a clear information about the domestic production and the needs of textile industry,” he added.