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EghtesadOnline: A total of 419 hectares of greenhouses were renovated and upgraded in Iran during the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2018) at a total cost of 640 billion rials ($15.24 million), the head of the Greenhouses, Medicinal Plants and Edible Mushroom Affairs Bureau with the Ministry of Agriculture said.

“This will save up to 420,000 cubic meters of water and 11 million liters of fuel annually, reduce pesticide use by 50-70%, increase average production from 180 tons per hectare to 250 tons and enhance the quality of products,” Gholamreza Taqavi was also quoted as saying by ILNA.

Taqavi added that plans have been devised to renovate 452 hectares of traditional greenhouses in the current year.  

The area under greenhouse cultivation in Iran is more than 12,000 hectares. Over 70% of the area are dedicated to growing vegetables, according to Financial Tribune. 

Plans are to increase the area to more than 48,000 hectares by 2025 to produce 21 million tons of agricultural products in greenhouses annually.

Iran ranks second globally in the expansion of greenhouse area after Mexico.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years to save 10 billion cubic meters of water per year.

Iran is a semi-arid country that hosts hardly 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses.