EghtesadOnline: Iran’s greenhouse area stood over 9,800 hectares in the current Iranian year (started March 20, 2020), based on the latest figures released by the Statistical Center of Iran.
According to the report, a total of 22,477 greenhouses have been set up in the country, 20,632 of which are currently active and the remaining 1,845 are inactive, SCI wrote on its website.
This is while Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi said in February that Iran’s greenhouse area stands at 21,000 hectares, which shows a 162% rise compared with 8,000 hectares when President Hassan Rouhani first took office in August 2013.
“The government plans to increase greenhouse area to 25,000 hectares by the end of its office next August, which will register a three-fold overall hike,” Khavazi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
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 $1,000-2,000.
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 of 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 county’s biggest producer of greenhouse products, according to the province’s Agricultural Jihad 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 area in Yazd has 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% rise during the period,” Jamal Sajjadipour was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official noted that about 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 added.
Sajjadipour said the sector has created more than 16,000 jobs in the province.
The city of Yazd, the capital of the eponymous 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 very 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.
Meanwhile, the largest and most modern greenhouse facility for production of strawberry recently came on stream in Khorasan Razavi Province.
A total of 300 billion rials ($1.2 million) have been invested in the project by Mostazafan Foundation of Islamic Revolution, according to Amir Adib, the project manager of Mashhad Horticulture and Agriculture Company.
“The greenhouse has been set up on 2.5 hectares and a total of 350 tons of strawberries are expected to be produced from this facility annually. The project got off the ground in December 2019 and has created 120 jobs,” he said.
Mostazafan Foundation (a foundation for the oppressed and disabled established in 1979 as per the decree of the late Imam Khomeini) is the largest charity and the second-largest conglomerate in Iran.