|Self-sufficiency in wheat production is vital for Iran: agriculture minister||
TEHRAN – Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati has said that self-sufficiency in the production of wheat is extremely important for the country.
In a meeting with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Director Thomas Lumpkin in Tehran on Saturday, Hojjati also vowed that Iran will once again become self-sufficient in the production of wheat through the use of high-yielding seeds, the application of scientific methods, and cooperation with international research centers.
“By starting international cooperation, implementation of scientific methods… once again we will witness self-sufficiency in (production of) wheat in the country,” Hojjati added.
“Wheat is the main staple of the people and an increase in production and self-sufficiency in this field is vital for the country,” he noted.
He added in the first stage of increasing wheat production seeds will be used which will be resistant to pest and water scarcity.
In this stage, which will be implemented in 2.5 million hectares of farmland in western Iran, the production on average will be increased by about 1.5 tons per hectare, he stated.
Maize consumption has increased in Iran by three times
He also said currently 2.5 million tons of maize is produced in the country.
The country’s need to maize is on the rise and to meet the needs of the country 4 million tons of maize are imported.
He added the consumption of maize has increased by three times over the last 11 years.
Cooperation with CIMMYT is key to raise wheat and maize production
The minister added cooperation with CIMMYT is important in raising wheat and maize production.
The ministry’s increased cooperation with CIMMYT led Iran to become self-sufficient in wheat production in 2001, Hojjati said.
Hojjati also said the local office of CIMMYT will be established in Alborze province.
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT, is a non-profit research and training organization with more than 400 partners in over 100 countries.
The Center works to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems and thus ensure global food security and reduce poverty. For this it applies the best of biotechnology, traditional agronomy and breeding, socioeconomics, agricultural extension, and capacity building to create sustainable solutions with lasting impact and a strong focus on climate change, hunger, rural community development, and the environment.
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