EghtesadOnline: A wheat silo with a storage capacity of 100,000 tons will be inaugurated in Semnan Province’s Garmsar County by the end of the current Iranian year on March 20, 2021.
This will be the largest silo in the eastern part of the country, according to the CEO of Government Trading Corporation.
“The Islamic Development Bank and the Iranian government have invested €18.96 million, in addition to 190 billion rials [over $658,000] in the project respectively,” Yazdan Seif was also quoted as saying by ILNA.
The official noted that the silo, which has made 90% physical progress, has been built on a 10-hectare plot and will be a great help in the storage and distribution of this strategic staple food in the country.
A contract was signed in June for the construction of another silo with the capacity to store 30,000 tons of grains in the northern Amirabad Port.
According to Director of Amirabad Special Economic Zone Mohammad Ali Saeedi, the project is in the form of a BOT (build, operate and transfer) contract that is expected to be completed in two years.
“Presently, Amirabad has the capacity to store 235,000 tons of grains. More silos with a collective capacity to store another 235,000 tons are under construction,” the official was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The new silo will be built on 7,000 square meters of land and create 12 direct jobs for local people.
Amirabad is the largest port facility on the Caspian shore and the third largest in Iran. The 1,000-hectare port has nine berths, which can accommodate Ro-Ro vessels, trains and trucks.
“Iran’s capacity for storage of strategic goods and grains is 21 million tons,” says Qodrat Heydari, an official with Government Trading Corporation of Iran, a subsidiary of Agriculture Ministry.
Affiliated to Agriculture Ministry, GTC is the official government body in charge of wheat guaranteed purchases.
“The capacity of government-owned storage units stands at 5.5 million tons with 156 silos, mechanized, semi-mechanized, simple warehouses and those of private sector, hovers around 15.5 million tons with 600 silos, mechanized storehouses, cement and metal silos,” Heydari said.
“The government has no concern about food security, particularly about wheat. However, we definitely welcome further investment in sectors that need it most.”
Wheat harvest started on April 4 in southern Iran where the weather is warm and dry.
A ceremony was held in Bushehr Province’s Dayyer County on that day to celebrate what is estimated to be a bountiful yield.
Esmaeil Esfandiarpour, the official in charge of Wheat Project—the government program to purchase the crop from farmers at a guaranteed price—who was present at the event said the yields are going to be high due to high levels of precipitation this year.
The official added that the government aims to buy around 10.5 million tons of the grain from farmers across the country.
Noting that close to 2 million hectares of wheat farms (one-third) in Iran are irrigated and 4.05 million hectares (two-thirds) are rain-fed, Esfandiyarpour said, “Wheat farms grown under rainwater harvesting give the best grain yield compared to their irrigated counterpart.”
Fars Province, for example, received precipitation twice as much last year and farmers are anticipating an abundant wheat crop. The province has received 400 millimeters of rain on average this year over last year’s 251 millimeters.
Rainfalls this year reduced soil salinization [the rise in soil’s salt concentration] that had resulted from 20 years of droughts, strengthening the prospects of a rise in production in dry areas, he added.
Farmers say the lushness of rain-fed wheat produced this year is similar to crops grown with irrigation systems.
Ataollah Hashemi, the head of National Wheat Farmers Foundation, told Mehr News Agency at the time that this year’s wheat production will hit 14 million tons that are sufficient to meet the entire domestic demand.
Some 14 million tons of the crop are estimated to have been produced last Iranian year (March 2019-20), of which only around 8.8 million tons were purchased by the government.
A total of 12.7 million tons of wheat were produced on 6.5 million hectares of farmland across the country in the fiscal 2018-19, according to a new report released by the Statistical Center of Iran.
The report noted that around 11,700 tons of the staple grain were imported during the period while exports hit 189,000 tons.
SCI put domestic demand for wheat at 10.4 million tons in the fiscal 2018-19.
The report also shows close to 1.5 million tons of wheat were used as animal feed that year.
According to CEO of the National Foundation of Elite Farmers Ali Khanmohammadi, domestic demand for this staple grain in Iran currently amounts to around 12 million tons per year.