Iran to implement finance agreement with China over rice paddies
Baku, Azerbaijan, August 12
The Iranian agriculture minister said the government is pursuing a deal it signed with China in 2013 whereby Beijing agreed to finance retrofitting of rice paddies in northern Iran.
“A 1.6 million yuan finance contract (signed between Tehran and Beijing) to retrofit paddy fields in northern Iran will be pursued and implemented soon,” Mahmoud Hojjati told reporters in Tehran recently, IRNA news agency reported.
Based on the terms of the agreement, 105,000 hectares of paddy fields in northern Iran will be equipped, retrofitted and drained.
The minister added the agreement would be implemented in cooperation with the country’s Plan and Budget Organization.
Rice growers would have a relatively higher income and save more water as their fields will be equipped with advanced machinery, Hojjati noted.
Agricultural and environment experts have been urging the government for years to restrict rice farming to the water-rich provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, which are home to the majority of Iran’s paddy fields, and to ban the activity in the rest of the country.