Iran signs deal to electrify 750,000 irrigation motors

Press TV – Iran goes green on agriculture as farmers are to switch to electric irrigation systems as a result of a government scheme to reduce consumption of diesel in the farms.

Head of state-run electricity firm Tavanir said on Thursday that the company had signed an agreement with the Iran Fuel Conservation Company to electrify a total of 750,000 irrigation motors at farms across Iran.

“Farmers had numerous requests for supplying electricity to their (irrigation) wells … we hope the process could be accelerated through the signing of the contract today,” said Mohammad Hassan Motavalizadeh in an interview with the IRIB News.

The official said the project would save Iran more than 750 million liters of diesel each year while helping efforts to cut carbon emissions both at farms and on the roads, where a fleet of 50,000 tanker trucks transport the fuel to the farms.

He said the scheme would also help farmers reduce their engineering and maintenance costs by more than 80 percent while insisting that the plan would lead to more productivity at farms through the use of better irrigation systems run by electricity.

Motavalizadeh said cutting on diesel consumption in agriculture would help authorities contain a growing rate of fatal accidents on rural roads as many of them are caused by heavy and dilapidated tanker trucks that transport the fuel to the remote regions.

The subsidized Iranian diesel is the main fuel used in irrigation systems across the country. However, farmers have been seeking to switch to electrified pumps to take water out of wells.

That comes as access to diesel has become more difficult in recent months, especially for farmers in remote and arid regions as a considerable difference between fuel prices inside Iran and in the neighboring countries is making the illegal trade of the fuel more interesting for traffickers.