EghtesadOnline: Close to 180,000 tons of cotton bolls are estimated to be produced in Iran by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2019), from which around 60,000 tons of carded cotton will be extracted.
Hossein Shirzad, the CEO of the Central Organization for Rural Cooperatives of Iran, further said that the figures show no significant change compared with last year.
“Cotton has been cultivated on over 71,000 hectares this year. The estimated production will meet nearly 50% of the annual domestic demand,” Shirzad was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that currently 69 cotton factories across 14 provinces in Iran have the capacity to process 300,000 tons of cotton bolls, according to Financial Tribune.
Shirzad said plans are underway to increase annual cotton boll yields to 300,000 tons and farmlands under cultivation of the product to 100,000 hectares by the end of the 20-year Vision Plan (2005-25).
Iran was once an exporter of cotton, besides meeting its own domestic demand. But the situation changed, as land under cultivation in the country declined by over 75% from 300,000 to 70,000 hectares during 2001-16.
Iran has the capacity to increase cotton production, although the low price of domestically-produced cotton compared with other agricultural products has made many farmers to switch to other crops.