Iran’s colza output plan realized by 85%
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 9
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The Iranian agriculture ministry’s plan to produce colza oilseed has materialized by 85 percent so far, according to the official statements.
Abbas Keshavarz, Iran’s deputy agriculture minister said that more than 280,000 tons of colza have been purchased by the government from the farmers during the current year, started March 20, the press office of the ministry said.
Keshavarz said that the administration plans to purchase 330,000 tons of colza from local farmers in the one-year period.
Every year, the government buys strategic crops, including oilseeds from local farmers at guaranteed prices to build up its strategic reserves and control prices in the domestic market.
He added that the planed figure is almost two times more than the purchased colza in last fiscal year, when the administration purchased 160,000 tons of colza from farmers across the country.
The purchased volume accounted for 80,000 tons in the fiscal year to March 2017, Keshavar said.
The official added that the ministry plans to increase the colza purchase to 450,000 tons in the next fiscal year (March 2019-2020), in order to decrease dependency on import of the strategic product.
Iranian officials say that domestic production of oilseeds is vital for the country in terms of saving foreign currency.
The government is currently importing $3 billion worth of oilseeds annually to meet the demand.
The agriculture ministry is planning to meet at least 70 percent of the domestic demand from local production by 2025.
It is forecasted that oil extracted from the colza will meet about 9 percent of Iran’s domestic demand for current year. Other oilseeds will also meet an additional 7 percent of the demand for vegetable oils.
Iran has taken various measures in recent years to boost the country’s oilseed output to reduce the country’s reliance on imports of raw vegetable oils.
The country’s dependency on oilseed imports was 94 percent in 2015, when the administration started a plan to boost the cultivation of the product.
The administration has allocated about 30 million rials (each USD makes 42,000 rials) of credit per hectare for the cultivation of colza and other oilseeds.
Per capita vegetable oil consumption in Iran is about 18-19 kilograms a year. The global average is 12 kilograms.
Domestic demand for raw vegetable oil stands at about 1.5 million tons per year, according to the agriculture ministry.
Alongside colza, soybeans, safflower and sunflower seeds are being cultivated in the country.
Last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) began a technical cooperation program with Iran called "Capacity Building for Increasing Sustainable Oilseed Production Focused on Soybean Value,” which will be carried out over two years (2017-19).
The main objectives of the project include building capacity in the public and private sectors for using innovative methods in producing sustainable crops and applying the methods to the oilseed value chain as well as integrating the latest technologies into cereal-based production systems.