Tehran, Iran, May 31
Importing rice is a sensitive issue in Iran since the country is a rice producer, however the cost of rice cultivation has increased, the imports have increased as well.
Secretary of Iranian Rice Importers Association Jamil Shayegh discussed the issues related to rice imports and its effect on the domestic market in Iran, in interview with Trend.
"The issue of importing rice during cultivation season is a distracting topic, since import of rice can occur in different months of the year. The important thing is that importers and government do not have the right to import more rice than the country needs, but unfortunately there's no supervision over this issue," said Shayegh.
"The Ministry of Agriculture indicated that the country's rice deficit is 800,000 tons, by adding to strategic reserves the estimated figure becomes 1 million tons, therefore there is no need for more imports. However, in 2017 the volume of excessive rice import was 200,000 tons and it reached 600,000 tons in 2018," he added.
Shayegh added that the sudden announcement about the lift of the rice import ban would hurt the local farmers.
"The price of rice has increased, they say its due to rise of production costs including the seeds and fertilizers, but the domestic market sells the rice that has been harvested last Iranian year (started March 21, 2018), so the costs should be the same they were last year," he indicated.
"The rice in the market is from last year and the sellers should not sell the rice for 140,000 rials per kilo since the best type of rice costs 100,000 rials per kilo," said the official.