Financial Tribune- About 13.5 million tons of wheat are estimated to be produced in the country during the current Iranian year (started March 21), the deputy agriculture minister for agronomical affairs said.
“The government is estimated to purchase about 10.4 million tons of the total output from local farmers across the country,” Abbas Keshavarz was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
At present, he added, wheat is cultivated over 2.05 million hectares of irrigated and 3.85 million hectares of rain-fed land. The ministry is planning to decrease the land under wheat cultivation and increase productivity in farms, so as to reduce the amount of water and energy used in the cultivation processes of the grain.
This year’s wheat purchases from local farmers at guaranteed prices began on March 26 in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province’s Sarbaz County, deputy agriculture minister Yazdan Seif, who also doubles as the head of the Government Trading Corporation of Iran, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
So far, 9,000 tons of the crop have been purchased from farmers, the executer of the “Wheat Project” carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday.
Iran has been self-sufficient in wheat production for two years now and only imports the crop for re-exportation purposes after it is processed. More than 8.87 million tons of wheat worth 116 trillion rials ($2.83 billion) were purchased from Iranian farmers by the government last year.
A record high of 14 million tons of wheat were domestically produced the year before, more than 11.76 million tons of which worth over $4 billion were purchased by the government from local farmers at guaranteed prices.
This helped Iran achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production for the first time after about a decade. Every year, the government buys strategic crops, including wheat, from local farmers at guaranteed prices to control prices in the domestic market.