Annual rice imports of 1.1m tons required in Iran: official

November 15, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN- Iran needs to imports 1.1 million tons of rice per annum, according to Iranian Deputy Agriculture Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs Abdolmahdi Bakhshandeh.

Over three million tons of rice is consumed in Iran per year, of which about two million tons is produced inside the country and the rest is imported, the Mehr News Agency quoted Bakhshandeh as saying on Saturday.

Also, near 300,000 tons of rice is annually imported by Government Trading Corporation of Iran (G.T.C) in order to maintain the country’s strategic reserves of the product, the official added.

Iran’s annual cereal production is estimated to rise to 19.8 million tons in 2015 from 19.1 million tons in 2014, according to a report released by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in May.  

The report forecasts Iran’s annual wheat production will increase to 13.5 million tons this year from 13 million tons the year before.  

On April 18, Bakhshandeh said Iran’s agricultural exports in the previous Iranian calendar year (which ended on March 20) rose by 27 percent compared to its preceding year.  

Meanwhile, agricultural imports amounted to $12 billion, a 9 percent fall compared to its preceding year.   

Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati has said that by producing over 90 million tons of agricultural products per year, Iran is among ten top countries in the world.