Australian Food and Agriculture Minister Ken Baston and Iran's Ambassador to Canberra Abdolhossein Vahaji called for strengthening of bilateral cooperation in trade of meat and Australia's sheep export to Iran.
Statistics of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry shows that last year Iran's dependence on importation of red meat was 10% which has dropped to about 6% with the improvement of the situation of domestic production, Irna reported August 1.
The Australian website 'Farm Weekly' in a report Saturday referred to the visit of the two officials and noted that trade between Iran and Australia in the export of sheep will strengthen.
Previously, Iran was one of the major importers of sheep from Australia and imported about three million sheep from that country per year but the trade stopped about four decades ago.
Referring to Iran's population of 80 million, the report said there is the annual capacity of exporting one million sheep to Iran at present.
The Australian minister said if the lost market of Iran can be revived it can be considered as an important market for Australia.
He announced his willingness to visit Iran.
Currently, Australia is breeding about 14 million sheep and the country is trying to increase the number on the basis of demands it receives.
In 1992, Australia possessed about 32 million sheep and breeding poultry and sheep is considered as one of the greatest industries of the country.
According to statistics of Iran's Customs Administration in the past eight months a total of 60 thousand tons of red meat was imported into the country with a worth of $308 million.