Iranians hire farmlands in Iraq
Tehran, Iran, June 29
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Some Iranian companies have hired farmlands in the Iraqi Wasit Governorate, according to Mehdi Nejatnia, chairman of Iraq Desk at Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization.
He underlined that the Iraqi government is showing great support to foreign investors in agriculture, ILNA news agency reported June 29.
Accordingly, each year the Iraqi government allows foreign investment into a limited expanse of lands around Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Nejatnia said.
“However, Iranian investors have to think of no more than mid-term investment since American experts have said Iraq is going to face huge water crisis in a number of years, so much so that it would have to import water,” he further stated.
Iran’s agricultural sector consumes over 80 percent of the country’s annual water usage. This is while, according to officials, Iranian-made agricultural products are not able to compete with foreign rivals.
Iran’s agricultural production is outdated and of low efficiency, adding to production prices and devouring the country’s scant water reserves.
While in many cases it is more economical for Iran to import than produce agricultural products, the government insists on domestic production, citing concern for security.
The country’s most strategic agricultural product, wheat, for example, can be imported for less than 30 cents per kilogram, but is domestically produced for about 40 cents per kilogram.
The government has recently announced plans to carry out extra-territorial cultivation of agricultural products in countries such as Brazil and Turkmenistan.