EghtesadOnline: The area under greenhouse cultivation in Iran presently spans 12,157 hectares, which is 38% more compared to the period before August 2013 when President Hassan Rouhani took office, according to the executive of Greenhouse Expansion Project undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Valiollah Bani-Ameri added that the ministry plans to increase the country’s greenhouse area to more than 48,000 hectares by the end of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25), IRNA reported.
The official noted that the ministry expects to produce 21 million tons of agro products in greenhouses per year when the project is completed, Mehr News Agency reported.
According to Bani-Ameri, Iran ranks second globally in the expansion of greenhouse area after Mexico.
Ali Ashraf Mansouri, the head of Tehran’s Agricultural Jihad Organization, said the area under greenhouse cultivation in the province amounts to more than 3,150 hectares, accounting for more than a quarter of all greenhouses in the country, according to Financial Tribune.
“Iran produces 1.55 billion cut flowers per year with Tehran Province accounting for 850 million, or 57% of the total sum. The global production of cut flowers stands at more than 10.02 billion annually,” he said.
Mansouri added that an export terminal for flowers and plants has recently opened in the city of Eslamshahr in southwest Tehran while another is under construction in the city of Pishva also in southern Tehran.
The construction of the latter, according to the official, has made little progress due to lack of financial resources. He invited investors to join in to speed up the project.
According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, the construction of every one square meter of a greenhouse in Iran costs between $1,000 and $2,000.
According to another deputy minister, Ali Akbar Mehrfard, the Ministry of Agriculture plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years.
“Some 10 billion cubic meters of water will be saved annually,” he said in February.
Director of the Greenhouses, Medicinal Plants and Mushroom Department of the Agriculture Ministry Seyyed Mohammad Kiyaei said in January that Iran is home to only 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses.
The biggest greenhouse in southern Iran was launched in December 2016 in Roudan County of Hormozgan Province.
The greenhouse constructed in an 11-hectare plot of land by the private sector has created 120 direct and over 250 indirect jobs.
Aad Verbakel, founder of Dutch agricultural firm VB Group, signed a preliminary agreement last year to build a 20-hectare greenhouse in Iran.
“This large-scale modern greenhouse complex, which will meet the needs of local food and flower production, will be realized by VB Greenhouse Projects,” the Dutch firm reported on its website.