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EghtesadOnline: Kaveh Zargaran, the head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s Agriculture Commission, has expressed concerns over deteriorating food security in Iran, citing data released by the Statistical Center of Iran.

“Over the past decade, per capita consumption of some food items such as protein foods [meat, chicken and fish] has declined considerably,” he was quoted as saying by TCCIM’s news portal. 

According to SCI, per capita fish and seafood consumption decreased by 50% over the past 10 years from 4 kg in the year ending March 2012 to 2 kg in the year ending March 2021. Per capita red meat consumption has dropped by 46% from 24 kg to 16 kg over the period. The decline in per capita consumption of sugar was 32% from 24 kg to 16 kg. Rice consumption per capita has fallen from 44 kg to 33 kg and dairy consumption plummeted by 17% from 127 kg in the year ending March 2012 to 106 kg last year.

Zargaran noted that the sharp decline in consumption of these food items raises alarm over the worsening state of food security in the country.

The decline in consumption can be blamed on rising prices and dwindling purchasing power.

Data released by SCI show that with a coefficient of 26.64%, the Consumer Price Index of “food and beverages” for all Iranian households stood at 417.1 in the month ending July 22, indicating a 3.2% increase compared with the month before. 

The “food and beverage” index registered a year-on-year increase of 57.4%. The CPI of the group increased by 54.8% in the 12-month period ending July 22 compared with last year’s corresponding period.  

The overall average goods and services CPI in the 12-month period ending July 22, which marks the end of the fourth Iranian month of fiscal 2021-22, increased by 44.2% compared with the corresponding period of the year before, SCI reported. 

It put the average annual inflation rate for the preceding Iranian month, which ended on June 21, at 43%. 

The consumer inflation for the month under review (June 22-July 22) registered an increase of 43.6% compared with the similar month of the previous Iranian year. The year-on-year inflation of the month ending June 21 was 47.6%. 

The overall CPI (using the Iranian year to March 2017 as the base year) stood at 327.4 for the month to July 22, indicating a 3.5% rise compared with the month before. Month-on-month consumer inflation was 2.5% for the preceding month.

SCI put average inflation for urban and rural areas at 43.7% and 47.3%, respectively. 

CPI registered a year-on-year increase of 42.9% for urban areas and 47.7% for rural areas in the month ending July 22. 

The overall CPI reached 323.8 for urban households and 347 for rural households, indicating a month-on-month increase of 3.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

 

Iran Kaveh Zargaran Food Security