EghtesadOnline: Iran’s greenhouse areas currently stand at 21,000 hectares, showing a 162% upsurge compared with the 8,000 hectares when President Hassan Rouhani first took office in August 2013, Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi said recently at the inaugural ceremony of 372 greenhouse projects.
“The government plans to increase greenhouse areas to 25,000 hectares by the end of its term in August, which will register a threefold rise,” Khavazi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
During the ceremony held on Sunday, 954 hectares of greenhouses were inaugurated, creating jobs for around 11,500 people.
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.
A major hydroponic greenhouse complex was inaugurated in Aras Free Trade Zone in September, which is said to be the biggest in the Middle East.
Describing it as "one of the most important agricultural projects in Iran", Secretary of the High Council of Free Trade Zones Morteza Bank said the greenhouse is spread across 80 hectares and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Russia is said to be the main destination of crops produced in this complex, ILNA reported.
Tehran is the country’s biggest producer of greenhouse products, according to the province’s Agricultural Organization.
Greenhouse products in Yazd Province currently amount to 550 tons per year. This accounts for 22% of the country’s annual greenhouse production, making the southwestern province Iran’s second biggest producer of such goods, according to the head of Yazd Agricultural Organization.
“Greenhouse areas in Yazd have increased from 1,160 hectares, when President Hassan Rouhani first took office in August 2013 to more than 1,900 hectares at present, showing a 76% surge during the period,” Jamal Sajjadipour was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that 70% of the province’s greenhouse products are exported every year.
“A total of 400,000 tons of agricultural products cultivated in greenhouses were exported from Yazd during the last Iranian year [March 2019-20], with our main export destinations being Russia, Iraq and the littoral countries of Persian Gulf,” he said.
Sajjadipour noted that the sector has created more than 16,000 jobs in the province.
The city of Yazd, the capital of the province, has a hot desert climate. It is the driest major city in Iran, with a yearly precipitation of 49 millimeters and only 23 days of precipitation, with summer temperatures frequently above 40°C with no humidity.
In the winter, days remain mild and sunny, but in the morning, thin air and low cloudiness cause cold temperatures that can sometimes fall below 0°C.