Iran bans rice, sugar imports to support domestic producers
Tehran, Iran, Oct. 15
By Milad Fashtami - Trend:
The Iranian government has banned rice and sugar imports to support domestic producers.
"Iranian producers' production cannot meet domestic demands, and we need to import. But currently there enough rice and sugar in the market, so we decided to ban imports," Deputy Head of Imports Commission of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Mohammad-Reza Safa said.
Iran's annual sugar production is around 1.3 million tons.
The country's rice output is expected to reach 2.4 million metric tons in the current Iranian calendar year.
Iran's fiscal year starts on March 21.
Gholamreza Khankeshipour, an official with the Rice Research Institute of Iran, said that the country's production capacity ranges between 2.2 and 2.4 million metric tons, Iran's IRIB News Agency reported on September 24.
"This year the weather was good so the production is expected to reach 2.4 million metric tons," he said.
He went on to note that the country's domestic production is around 2.8 million metric tons, so only 400,000 tons of rice to be imported.
Iran's IRNA News Agency reported on September 21 that the Iranian government purchased 2,000 tons of rice from domestic farmers last week.
The government plans to buy some farmers' crops to support domestic farmers.
The government has also increased the rice import tariff to 40 percent from the previous figure of 20 percent.
Iran plans to reach self-sufficiency in rice production in the coming years.
According to the Agriculture Jihad ministry's plan, Iran was supposed to reach self-sufficiency in the rice production by March 19, 2013, but officials announced that the plan needs another three years to be completed.
Meanwhile, Iran still depends on rice imports for its domestic consumption.