EghtesadOnline: About 13,777 hectares of farmlands have been equipped with modern irrigation methods during the two months to May 21, according to the executive of the “Modern Irrigation Systems Project” carried out by the Agriculture Ministry.
“Plans are to equip 135,457 more hectares of farmlands with modern irrigation systems by the [fiscal] yearend (March 20, 2019),” Abbas Zare’ was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official said that the project was carried out over 180,400 hectares across the country last year (March 2017-18).
According to Hamidreza Janbaz, an advisor to Agriculture Ministry’s deputy for water and soil affairs, there are 8.5 million hectares of irrigated farmlands and orchards across Iran, 4.5 million hectares of which meet the conditions to implement modern irrigation methods, Financial Tribune reported.
At present, the overall land surface equipped with under-pressure irrigation methods in the country stands at 1.79 million hectares.
Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said the government will cover 85% of expenses involved in the modernization of irrigation systems in farms and orchards in the form of subsidies.
“Unlimited banking facilities will be granted to farmers in this regard,” he said.
Iran is facing an acute water crisis.
Hojjati said the government plans to restrict cultivation of crops in areas where underground water resources have dipped to alarming levels.