EghtesadOnline: Nomads have produced a record high of 200,000 tons of red meat in the current Iranian year (started March 19, 2020), which account for 25% of Iran’s total red meat output, the head of Nomadic Affairs Organization said.
“According to the latest statistics, the number of nomad households has risen from 213,000 to 246,000 to make up 1.2 million of Iran’s population. They own 22.4 million head of livestock and use 34 million hectares of grassland for livestock grazing. A total of 1.25 million tons of animal feed must be supplied for nomads annually, of which 570,000 tons are met via imports,” Shahpour Alaei-Moqaddam was also quoted as saying by IRIB News.
A total of 36,200 tons of red meat were produced in Iran during the month ending Dec. 20 to register a 27% rise compared with the similar month of last year. The output witnessed a 3.5% month-on-month decline.
The Statistical Center of Iran's latest report shows beef accounted for 20,400 tons or 56.3% of the overall production, indicating a year-on-year increase of 35%.
A total of 12,400 tons of lamb (up 18% YOY), 2,700 tons of goat meat (up 23% YOY) and 709 tons of meat from other types of livestock were produced during the month, accounting for 34.2%, 7.5% and 2% of the total output respectively, SCI reported on its website.
Domestic red meat consumption has declined by 40% after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, inflicting losses on the country’s nomads and their economy that is dependent on animal husbandry, the caretaker of Nomadic Affairs Organization affiliated with the Agriculture Ministry said recently.
“Limitations placed on social events and gatherings due to the pandemic have resulted in the cancellation of weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies, and most restaurants have either closed down or have few customers and delivery requests, which has in turn reduced red meat consumption,” A’laei-Moqaddam said.
The official noted that due to the circumstances, nomadic tribes are facing an oversupply of livestock, which threatens their livelihood.
In June, Karamali Qandali, the former head of Nomadic Affairs Organization, said red meat production by nomads in Iran is estimated to increase by 15-20% in the current Iranian year (March 2020-21), compared with last year amid high precipitation that led to the bountiful growth of grass in meadows.
Iran’s red meat production is projected to rise by 2-3% by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2021), bringing the country closer to self-sufficiency, deputy agriculture minister for livestock affairs said.
“Iran’s red meat production stood at 859,000 tons last [fiscal] year [ended March 19, 2020]. The output is expected to hit 880,000 tons by the yearend,” Morteza Rezaei was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to the official, heavy livestock constituted around 60% of the country’s red meat production last year.
Up to 160,000 tons of red meat are annually imported, he said, stressing that measures are underway to cut import dependency and boost production capacity.
To this end, 158 projects in developing livestock and poultry breeding sectors will be implemented by the Iranian yearend, which will also help create around 16,000 jobs.
Furthermore, plans are afoot to expand capacities and control the waste of feed in livestock breeding farms.