Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 9
Iran’s colza output has registered a 7-fold growth in the last three years, Alireza Mohajer, an official with Iran’s agriculture ministry, said.
The country’s colza output in the current Iranian year, started March 20, has surpassed 340,000 tons, Mohajer said, the press office of the agriculture ministry reported.
He further said that currently, 217,200 hectares of lands are under colza cultivation across the country.
Over 80 percent of colza is produced in eight provinces including Mazandaran, Golestan, Khouzestan, Fars, Kermanshah, Ardabil, Qazvin and Ilam, Mohajer added.
Iran’s Hamadam, East and West Azerbaijan, Razavi Khorasan and Northern Khorasan provinces have the capacity to produce over 10,000 tons of colza in the next crop year, the official said.
Over 350,000 hectares of lands will go under colza cultivation in the next crop year, Mohajer added.
Iran’s demand for raw vegetate oil stands at 1.3 million tons per year, he said, adding that more than 340,000 tons of colza have been purchased by the government from the farmers during the current year.
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.
Domestic output of oilseeds meets about 14 percent of Iran’s demand for vegetable oils currently, Mohajer said.
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.
Alongside colza, soybeans, safflower and sunflower seeds are being cultivated in the country.