EghtesadOnline: Iran exported 950,000 tons of greenhouse products worth $350 million during the first nine months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Dec. 21), according to the CEO of Agricultural Parks Company affiliated to the Agriculture Ministry.
“Our main export destinations were Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf littoral countries, member states of the Eurasian Economic Union and some European countries. The value of exports is expected to reach $500 million by the [fiscal] yearend [March 20, 2019],” Ali Ashraf Mansouri was also quoted as saying by ILNA.
The official noted that last year (March 2018-19), over 820,000 tons of greenhouse products worth $300 million were exported from Iran, adding that close to 2.6 million tons of different kinds of vegetables and 1.6 billion flowers and ornamental plants were cultivated in greenhouses across the country last year.
According to Mansouri, 8,500 hectares were under greenhouse cultivation in Iran in 2013, Financial Tribune reported.
“The greenhouse area has expanded to 15,000 hectares today, showing a 73% increase [compared to five years ago],” he said, adding that the ministry plans to increase the area to 48,000 hectares by 2025.
According to Valiollah Bani-Ameri, the head of Greenhouse Expansion Project undertaken by the Agriculture Ministry, the ministry expects to produce 21 million tons of agricultural products via greenhouses annually.
Iran ranks second globally in terms of expansion of greenhouse area after Mexico.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years to save 10 billion cubic meters of water per year.
According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, the construction of 1 square meter of a greenhouse in Iran costs between $1,000 and $2,000.
Iran is home to hardly 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses.