Cultivating medicinal plants on pastures to be developed

January 3, 2021 - 17:45

TEHRAN – The Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization has prepared a plan for cultivating medicinal plants on 50,000 hectares area of pastures across the country.

The plan is in line with the goal of protecting and restoring pastures, as well as promoting medicinal plants as a means to improve living condition for farmers, IRNA quoted Tarahhom Behzad, an official with the organization as saying on Sunday.

He went on to say that some 4,500 tons of medicinal plants were harvested from pastures nationwide.

The Vice Presidency for Science and Technology has prepared a 10-year plan for the technological development of the medicinal plant industry.

8,000 herbal species grow in Iran

So far, about 30,000 plant species have been identified in the world, with Iran's share of about 8,000 species, indicating that the country’s plant diversity is more than the whole of Europe.

Currently, about 2,300 species of medicinal plants are cultivated in the country.

The Sixth Development Plan (2016-2021) envisages the rehabilitation of 9.6 million hectares of rangeland and medicinal plant habitats and cultivation of medicinal plants on 100,000 hectares area of land.

The per capita consumption of medicinal plants in Iran is about one kilogram of dried plants. In other words, 83,000 tons of medicinal plants worth 1.2 trillion rials (around $29 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) are consumed in the country.

224,000 ha of land under cultivation 

Hossein Zeynali, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture, has said some 224,000 hectares area of land is under cultivation of medicinal herbs.

“Over the last two years, we focused mainly on the development of a number of medicinal plants such as saffron, rosemary, and Persian cumin, bringing an export revenue of 400 million dollars annually,” he said.

“Next year, we plan to expand the cultivation of Persian shallot and celery,” he said, highlighting, for the development of medicinal plants industry, between 10 and 20 trillion rials (nearly $238) are allocated annually.”

MG

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