EghtesadOnline: Out of the 15 trillion rials ($325 million) earmarked for agricultural mechanization in the current Iranian year that started on March 21, 2017, 598 billion rials ($130 million) have been paid to farmers to renew their machinery and equipment, the head of Agricultural Mechanization Expansion Center with the Agriculture Ministry announced.
“So far, we have provided nearly 12,000 tractors and close to 16,000 agro equipment for farmers active in fields of grain cultivation, horticulture, livestock, poultry, fisheries, jungles and pastures, greenhouses, cage fish farming and medicinal herbs across the country,” Kambiz Abbasi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that since the first presidential term of Hassan Rouhani started in August 2013, the government has spent close to 55 trillion rials ($1.19 billion) on agro mechanization, 90-95% of which have been used to supply the domestic market with local products, as only 5-10% have been spent on imports since machinery and equipment are not manufactured domestically, Financial Tribune reported.
The agricultural mechanization coefficient in Iran presently stands at 1.5 horsepower per hectare, which is expected to increase to 2.1 hp/ha by the end of Hassan Rouhani’s second presidential term (August 2021), Abbasi said in November.
Between 25-30% of Iran’s agricultural machinery, he added, have been repaired or renovated since the beginning of Rouhani’s presidency.
Old machinery used in this sector is the main reason behind agricultural waste, which is said to cost Iran’s economy over $5 billion per annum.
The volume of agricultural waste in Iran is twice the global average. Currently, up to 30% of agro products go to waste in the country during the pre-harvest, harvest, post-harvest and supply stages.
According to Food and Agricultural Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food, mainly fruit, vegetables, fish and grains, are wasted globally every year and Iran is responsible for 2.7% of it, equal to about 35 million tons of the total sum.