EghtesadOnline: Iran’s first hydroponic greenhouse has come on stream in Markazi Province.
The first phase of the project with an area of 15 hectares became operational in Zarandiyeh.
Once completed, the greenhouse will extend over 50 hectares to produce 20,000 tons of agricultural products per year and create some 2,000 direct and indirect jobs, Mehr News Agency reported.
About 2 trillion rials (more than $43.79 million) have so far been invested in the project, according to Financial Tribune.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrients in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.
Iran has more than 12,000 hectares under greenhouse cultivation. The Agriculture Ministry aims to reach 48,000 hectares by the end of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25).
The ministry plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years.
According to Valiollah Bani-Ameri, the executive of Greenhouse Expansion Project undertaken by the Agriculture Ministry, Iran ranks second globally in terms of greenhouse expansion after Mexico.