EghtesadOnline: A total of 40,400 tons of red meat were produced in Iran during the month ending Jan. 19 to register a 38% rise compared with the similar month of last year.
Meat output witnessed an 11.6% month-on-month growth.
The Statistical Center of Iran's latest report shows beef accounted for 23,500 tons or 58.2% of the overall production, indicating a year-on-year increase of 52%.
A total of 13,600 tons of lamb (up 24% YOY), 2,500 tons of goat meat (up 19% YOY) and 775 tons of meat from other types of livestock were produced during the one-month period, accounting for 33.6%, 6.3% and 1.9% 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. This has inflicted the most damage on the country’s nomads and their economy, which are mainly 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 are either closed or have very few customers and delivery requests, which have also reduced red meat consumption,” Shapour Alaei-Moqaddam was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
The official noted that under 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.
“At present, nomads own more than 9.5 million head of livestock and produce 190,000 tons of red meat per year, which meet 25% of domestic demand,” he said.
There are 213,000 nomadic households in Iran, which account for 1.2 million of Iran’s total population.
Nomadic production of red meat accounts for about a quarter of Iran’s total output.
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 has 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 also 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, underlining that measures are underway to cut dependency on imports and boost production capacity.
To this end, 158 projects for developing livestock and poultry breeding sectors will be implemented by the Iranian yearend, which will also help create around 16,000 jobs.
Efforts will be made to expand the existing capacities and control the waste of feed in livestock breeding farms.