Tehran, Iran, Jan. 12
By Kamyar Eghbal – Trend:
Iran, one of the world's most water-stressed countries, where low precipitation has adversely affected its agriculture, is now facing the growing shortage of mutton.
“Due to decline in the volume of precipitation and the shortage of pastures for grazing livestock, next year we will definitely need more imports to regulate the market and provide meat,” Ali Asghar Maleki, head of sheepmeat union in Iran told Trend.
Voicing his concerns over the shortage of meat over the next seven years, he forecasted that the country would need to increase the amount of its meat imports as of the next calendar year (starting March 20).
“For about a year, authorities have taken decisions to import lamb meat to regulate the market, which I think is worthwhile and played an important role in price stability,” Maleki said.
Elaborating on the decision to increase the volume of meat production, he said the country has banned slaughtering ewe lambs.
On the other hand, the livestock supply should be provided for livestock breeders.
“We have estimated that with these circumstances after seven years we will return to the proper state of meat supply," he said.
According to Maleki, Iran imports about 80 tons of meat per day.
New Zealand and CIS countries including Georgia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan are among the main exporters of meat to Iran.