0728 GMT January 23, 2020
The official government contractor for cotton production said on Sunday that Iran’s annual output would increase this year to hit a target of 60,000 tons, over 350,000 bales, reported Press TV.
Ebrahim Hezarjaribi said the farms used to cultivate cotton in Iran had expanded by over 20 percent this year, adding that the surge in output and planting exceeded official government projections.
Hezarjaribi said the current output could satisfy almost half of the total demand for cotton in Iran’s textile industry, adding that plans were in place to reduce the country’s imports as major cotton producers in the world were shifting from export to processing industries.
He said that the government will resume the purchase of cotton produced by farmers across Iran this year at a competitive price of 31,620 rials (nearly $0.30) a kilogram.
The so-called “guaranteed purchase scheme,” implemented by Iran’s Agriculture Ministry for certain strategic crops and seeds, did not cover cotton last year as the demand in the domestic market was relatively high.
Hezarjaribi said to restore Iran’s position as a traditional cotton production hub, the country needed to change the methods used in cultivation and harvesting by introducing more mechanization in farms, especially in leading cotton-producing provinces like Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Golestan, Ardabil and Fars.
He said a main issue with such mechanization is the shortage of modern harvesting machines in Iran, an issue he said would be overcome in the near future through the import of combine harvesters.