EghtesadOnline: Iran had over 16,000 hectares of greenhouses as of October, which indicates a 200% rise compared with the 8,008 hectares when President Hassan Rouhani first took office in August 2013, according to the head of Greenhouse Expansion Project, undertaken by the Agriculture Ministry.
“The greenhouses built over the six-year period have added around 2.4 million tons to the country’s agricultural output and saved more than 900 million cubic meters of water [per year],” Valiollah Bani-Ameri was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The official noted that the greenhouse area set up over the six-year period has generated more than 80,000 jobs, especially for graduates of agricultural majors.
Some $500 million worth of greenhouse crops were exported during the last Iranian year (March 2018-19), which shows a more than twofold increase compared with the previous year, according to Financial Tribune.
Bani-Ameri announced the above figures on the sidelines of Iran Green Trade Fair, also known as IGTF 2019.
“Plans are underway to increase the export of greenhouse products to $1 billion by the end of the current [fiscal] year [started March 21],” he was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
IGTF 2019 was held at Tehran’s International Exhibition Fairground from April 11 to 13.
Iran ranks second globally in the expansion of greenhouse area after Mexico.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses within 10 years to annually save 10 billion cubic meters of water.
Bani-Ameri says the ministry aims to increase the country’s greenhouse area to 48,000 hectares by the end of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25) and expects to produce 21 million tons of agro products in greenhouses annually when the project is completed.
According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, the construction of every 1 square meter of a greenhouse in Iran costs between $1,000-2,000.
Iran is home to a meager 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses.