Iran-ICARDA joint plan to raise rain-fed products by 25%: deputy minister

Business Materials 4 June 2018 18:28 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, June 4

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad - Trend:

A cooperation document signed last year between Iran and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is expected to help increase the amount of rain-fed agricultural products in the country by 25 percent, an official said.

“The Iran-ICARDA plan to raise crop production, particularly wheat, barley and peas, and also strengthen national food security in the country is being implemented in some Iranian provinces,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Abbas Keshavarz said, according to the official website of the Agriculture Ministry.

The project can play a key a role to improve the quality of agricultural products to a great extent if fully becomes operational in the country’s rain-fed lands, he added.

In 2017, ICARDA approved a plan and a budget for the second year of a five-year initiative that aims to raise crop production and strengthen national food security in Iran. The project targets over 905,000 hectares in four water-scarce provinces of western Iran – East Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Lorestan – and combines crop diversification, germ plasm enhancement, and sustainable crop management practices.

After signing an operational agreement with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and CGIAR partner, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the initiative is now being implemented with a fast-track evaluation of available technologies and a dissemination strategy involving on-farm demonstrations.

Keshavarz added that the plan is expected to raise the country’s rain-fed agricultural products by 25 percent within three years.