EghtesadOnline: The construction of Iran’s largest greenhouse complex has been launched on 100 hectares in North Khorasan Province’s Shirvan County.
A ceremony was held on Tuesday attended by Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi, North Khorasan Governor General Mohammad Ali Shojaei and Abdolreza Azizi, the head of the Majlis Social Commission, and MP representing Shirvan.
A total of 4 trillion rials ($22.85 million) will be invested in this project.
“Greenhouse area in Iran has increased from 8,800 hectares in the fiscal 2013-14 when President Hassan Rouhani first took office to around 18,000 hectares at present. Greenhouses can offer significant help in creating jobs, increasing exports and granting us food security,” Khavazi was quoted as saying by the news portal of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
He added that plans have been made to add 2,500 hectares to the country’s greenhouses area by the fiscal yearend (March 20, 2021).
Shojaei said 44% of the population in North Khorasan live in rural areas and 36% make a living though agricultural activities.
“The northeastern province ranks 17th in the country in terms of land under agricultural cultivation, but 28th in production volume. This shows we need to employ modern methods and technology in North Khorasan’s agriculture sector,” he added.
Latest data show some $500 million worth of greenhouse crops were exported from Iran in the fiscal March 2018-19, which showed a more than twofold increase compared with the previous year.
Iran is home to a meager 0.3% of the world’s greenhouses, yet it is said to rank second globally in terms of greenhouse area expansion after Mexico.
The Agriculture Ministry plans to transfer all vegetable farms to greenhouses to save 10 billion cubic meters of water per year.
According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Mohammad Ali Tahmasebi, the construction of every 1 square meter of a greenhouse in Iran costs between $1,000 and $2,000.