EghtesadOnline: Iran aims to achieve self-sufficiency in beet production within three years, a deputy agriculture minister said.
“The area under beet cultivation in fall this year stood at around 16,000 hectares, which is up by 60% compared to last year (March 2016-17),” Abbas Keshavarz also told ILNA.
Keshavarz put Iran’s domestic sugar demand at 2.2 million tons. He said Iran produced 1.83 million tons of sugar this year and the rest was imported.
On July 30, a ceremony was held at the headquarters of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in Tehran to celebrate the record high production of sugar in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17), which reached 1.65 million tons, Financial Tribune reported.
As ICCIMA reported on its news portal, this amount of sugar production was unprecedented in the past 120 years.
According to Shahrokh Ramezan-Nejad, the head of Public Relations Center with the Ministry of Agriculture, the government aims to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production by 2021.
Bahman Danaei, secretary of Iran Guild Union for Sugar and Sugar Cube Factories, said the record production indicates Iran is able to meet 75% of its demand for sugar through domestic production.
Iranians consume between 2.2 and 2.4 million tons of sugar a year and last year, hence an import of over 550,000 tons of the product was needed.
According to Danaei, in the last three years, a majority of sugar factories have been operating at over 75% of their production capacity and a few at 100%.
He said each sugar factory usually engages 1,000-2,000 sugarbeet farmers and an average of 500-600 workers.
The job creation potential of this industry, he explains, is the reason why these factories are usually established in underprivileged regions to bring economic prosperity to those areas and help the locals.