EghtesadOnline: A total of 42,000 tons of red meat were produced in Iran during the month ending Feb. 18 to register a 43% rise compared with the similar month of last year.
Meat output witnessed a 4% month-on-month growth.
The Statistical Center of Iran's latest report shows beef accounted for 24,100 tons or 57.3% of the overall output, indicating a year-on-year increase of 54%.
A total of 14,500 tons of lamb meat (up 33% YOY), 2,500 tons of goat meat (up 25% YOY) and 918 tons of meat from other types of livestock were produced during the month, accounting for 34.5%, 6% and 2.2% of the total output respectively, SCI reported on its website.
Domestic red meat consumption has declined considerably since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This has inflicted the most harm on the country’s nomads and their economy, which is largely 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 very few customers and delivery requests, which has in turn reduced red meat consumption,” Shapour Alaei-Moqaddam was 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.
Back 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]. 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 the production capacity and productivity.
To this end, 158 projects in developing livestock and poultry breeding sectors will be implemented by the Iranian yearend, which will also help create about 16,000 jobs.
Efforts will go into expanding the existing capacities and controlling the waste of feed in livestock breeding farms.