EghtesadOnline: With the aim of expanding bilateral cooperation in the field of food and agriculture, Germany has been implementing a project named “Representative of the German Food and Agribusiness in Iran” since the beginning of 2018.
An office was set up in Tehran in the Iran-Germany Chamber of Commerce on May 1, the head of the office and contact person of the project said.
“This project is being carried out by two German organizations: the German Agricultural Society (DLG) and the German Raiffeisen Federation (DRV). The project is supported and partly funded by the German Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL). DLG was established in 1885 and currently has over 29,000 members,” Alireza Ahmadi also told Financial Tribune.
“All the people active in Germany’s food and agribusiness sectors are either members of this society or work closely with it. DRV represents the interests of cooperatives in the German agricultural and food sector.”
MoU to Expand Agro Ties
The opening of this representation office is in line with the aims and activities defined in a memorandum of understanding signed between Iran’s Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and his then-German counterpart Christian Schmidt in Berlin on Jan. 23, 2016.
The MoU pursues the expansion of bilateral interactions in and the modernization of Iran’s agriculture and food industries.
After the 2015 nuclear agreement and the consecutive lifting of international economic sanctions imposed on Iran, an ample scope for investment and trade emerged in the country’s untapped economy.
There was a substantial demand for modernization in the Iranian food and agribusiness sectors. With the signing of the above-mentioned MoU, Germany was one of the first countries to tap into this field that holds plenty of opportunities.
“The German agribusiness and DLG have been very active in Iran since the signing of the MoU in 2016,” Ahmadi said.
DLG held field training courses in March for optimizing colza production in the southern city of Dezful and Gorgan in the north, which are both colza production hubs of Iran. Another such event is scheduled to be held in Mashhad in the northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province in the near future.
For the first time in Iran, an agricultural open-air fair with plant presentation plots and machinery display took place in Karaj near Tehran from May 10-12, 2017, based on the model of the DLG Field Days.
The International Field Days Iran offered an open platform for communication with plant breeders and crop consultants as well as manufacturers and distributors of seeds, fertilizers, plant protection and agricultural technology.
DLG has also been taking part in three specialized exhibitions of AgroFarm-IsfahanVET in Isfahan, AgroTech-Agropars in Shiraz and iFood in Mashhad over the past two years, which cover three main areas of livestock and poultry, agro machinery and food.
Germany has established the representation office to expand such activities in a more efficient and organized manner.
“This promotion project aims to facilitate direct contacts between the agricultural ministries of the two countries, determine the requirements and demands of Iranian food and agribusiness sectors and provide the German side with information on Iran’s market, businesspeople and trade obstacles, create joint business in different agro sectors and provide bilateral business contacts, manage events, represent the German food and agribusiness interests in dialogues with Iranian partners and prepare the ground for intercultural transfer to facilitate mutual understanding regarding the nuances that exist in the food culture of the two countries,” Ahmadi said.
“We have begun by meeting with people active in the area from the public and private sectors to be able to detect the demands of Iran’s agriculture and food industries, see what needs improvement and prioritize the areas of activities. Then we will focus on these areas by arranging activities such as seminars, workshops, exhibitions and training courses.”
Ahmadi concluded that they have only just stared their work in Iran and are taking the first steps with determination.