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Iran Agriculture at glance ( part 2 )qrcode

Feb. 15, 2016

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Feb. 15, 2016
Geographically, Iran is located in West Asia and borders the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman. Its mountains have helped to shape both the political and the economic history of the country for several centuries. The mountains enclose several broad basins, or plateaus, on which major agricultural and urban settlements are located. Until the 20th century, when major highways and railroads were constructed through the mountains to connect the population centers, these basins tended to be relatively isolated from one another.
Typically, one major town dominated each basin, and there were complex economic relationships between the town and the hundreds of villages that surrounded it. In the higher elevations of the mountains rimming the basins, tribally organized groups practiced transhumance, moving with their herds of sheep and goats between traditionally established summer and winter pastures. There are no major river systems in the country, and historically transportation was by means of caravans that followed routes traversing gaps and passes in the mountains. The mountains also impeded easy access to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.
With an area of 1,648,000 square kilometres (636,000 sq mi), Iran ranks eighteenth in size among the countries of the world. Iran shares its northern borders with three post-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. These borders extend for more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi), including nearly 650 kilometres (400 mi) of water along the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. Iran's western borders are with Turkey in the north and Iraq in the south, terminating at the Arvand Rud.
The Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman littorals form the entire 1,770 kilometres (1,100 mi) southern border. To the east lie Afghanistan on the north and Pakistan on the far south. Iran's diagonal distance from Azerbaijan in the northwest to Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast is approximately 2,333 kilometres (1,450 mi)
The wide range of temperature fluctuation in different parts of the country and the multiplicity of climatic zones make it possible to cultivate a diverse variety of crops, including cereals (wheat, barley, rice, and maize (corn)), fruits (dates, figs, pomegranates, melons, and grapes), vegetables, cotton, sugar beets,sugarcane and pistachios (World's largest producer with 40% of the world's output in 2005), nuts, olives, spices e.g. saffron (World's largest producer with 81% of the world's total output), raisin(world's third largest producer & second largest exporter), tea, tobacco, Berberis(world's largest producer) and medicinal herbs. More than 2,000 plant species are grown in Iran; only 100 of which are being used in pharmaceutical industries. The land covered by Iran's natural florais four times that of Europe.
Wheat, rice, and barley are the country's major crops. The Iranian grain sector is highly regulated. Producers receive subsidised access to input costs such as fertilizer and pesticides, as well as a guaranteed support price for their crops.
In 2014 Iran exported close to 600,000 tons of wheat (out of a production of 15 million tons). Approximately 6 million tons of wheat will be purchased from 15 countries in 2014 because of the drought in 2013, thus making Iran the largest wheat importer in the world. Wheat production reached 14 million tons in 2015. According to the FAO, Iran is the 12th leading producer of wheat in the world, with an average production of 14 million tons in 2015.

Iran's total rice production stands at 2.2 million tons per annum whereas annual consumption is about three million tons (2015). Iran has imported about 630,000 tons of rice from UAE, Pakistan and Uruguay worth $271 million in 2008 and 1.4 million tons of rice, worth $800 million in 2015. Iran's rice imports drop by 40% in 2010. Iran’s rice production in 2011 was 2.4 million tons, which increased from a total of 2.3 million tons in the previous year. Iran has 3,800 rice milling units (2015). The average per capita consumption of rice in Iran is 45.5 kg, which makes Iranians the 13th biggest rice consumers. Rice is mostly produced in northern Iran. Rice has being cultivated for many years in Gilan Province of Iran. In Gilan Province, many indica rice cultivars including Gerdeh, Hashemi, Hasani, and Gharib have been bred by farmers.
In 2015, Iran had a shortage of 400,000 tons to 600,000 tons of sugar nationwide. Sugar companies suffered from massive imports of cheap sugar over the past few years, which led to a 50% drop in the capacity of the sugar industry’s production in 2008. The lack of import tariffs was the main reason for the domestic sugar industry suffering in this manner.
Iran ranks the world's largest pistachio producer and exporter followed by USA and Turkey. After oil and carpets, pistachios are Iran's biggest exports: about 200,000 tons for $840 million in 2015. More than 350,000 people earn a living from the nut, most of them in vast groves of the desert oases in southeast. Iran's share in the global pistachio market reached 50 percent in 2015.
Saffron is cultivated in many regions of the country, the provinces of North Khorasan, Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan in the northeast have the highest production share. Iran's saffron is exported to the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Japan, Turkmenistan, France, Italy and US. The northeastern Khorasan Razavi province exported 57 tons of saffron worth $156.5 million to 41 countries in 2015. The high production cost comes from the exhaustive process of extracting the stamens from the flower and the amount of flowers necessary to produce small amounts of spice but the process is in the process of being automated now. Iran is the largest producer of Saffron with 93.7% of the world's total production.
Tea production rose to 190,000 tons in 2007 from 130,000 tons in 2004. 75,000 tons of tea is smuggled into Iran each year (2015).
Close to 19 million tons of horticultural crops will be produced by the end of Fourth Plan (2005–10).
Iran exported more than 35,000 tons of citrus fruits valued at $20.8 million to 36 countries in 2008. Iran is anmong the largest producers of berries and stone fruits in the world, especially pomegranates, dates, figs and cherries

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