EghtesadOnline: The share of mechanized rice farming has risen from 12.5% to 80% over the past four years, as the number of rice combines in Iran’s paddy fields has risen from 1,000 to 5,600 during the period.
According to Kambiz Abbasi, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, the incumbent government has invested a record high of 6 trillion rials (about $156 million) on mechanization of rice production, the Young Journalists Club reported. Mechanization has helped lower production costs by 60% and increase productivity. Abbasi said pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest stages of rice production in 250,000 hectares of paddy fields have become automated over the past four years. Iranians consume about 3.2 million tons of rice a year while domestic production stands at around 2.2 million tons, indicating a need for around 1 million tons of imports every year. The two northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran are home to a majority of Iran’s paddy fields, thanks to sufficient rainfall in the Caspian region, Financial Tribune reported.