Former minister warns Iran heading to desertification

August 9, 2015

TEHRAN - Iran will turn into a dry dessert in a few years if the current water consumption pattern continues in the country, former Iranian minister of agriculture Isa Kalantari has warned.

Except for provinces of Khuzestan, Gilan, Mazandaran, and the western side of Zagros Mountains, Iran will face severe drought in the near future, Kalantari told the Mehr news agency.

He called for fundamental regulatory reform in the agricultural sector to lower water consumption.

Over 90 percent of the water consumed in Iran is in the agriculture sector.

Kalantari, who is currently an advisor to Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, also urged reform in water pricing patterns, saying that some agricultural products should not be produced in areas where there is too little water.

Some agricultural products must be produced only to meet domestic demand and the amount that is being exported should not be produced, Kalantari stressed.

He also said measures should be taken to improve water consumption for other agricultural products.

SP/OS