Covid-19 imposed serious challenges on agricultural sector: minister

June 18, 2021 - 11:31

TEHRAN – Iranian Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi has said the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences have imposed serious challenges on the country’s agricultural sector, IRNA reported.

Speaking at the 42nd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Conference which was held virtually, Khavazi said: “The consequences of the COVID-19 crisis have challenged the functioning of the food value chain and the flow of agricultural products into the market and, the pandemic has affected all areas from production to processing, packaging, transportation, marketing, and also consumption.”

“It [the pandemic] has also affected the access of lower classes of the society to healthy and nutritious food at affordable prices. Small and medium-sized enterprises which are crucial to food security and employment have also been negatively impacted,” he added.

He further noted that the coronavirus experience has shown that many areas of the food industry have the potential to react early and swiftly to crisis. Many companies have been forced to use alternative channels instead of the usual business approaches; for instance, focusing on new and more local markets, relying on innovative management plans, and investing in human resources to deal with future dilemmas.

“In the Islamic Republic of Iran, agricultural planners have always tried to adopt appropriate agricultural and food strategies and policies in various fields such as water and soil protection, education and promotion, increasing sustainable production, increasing the productivity of resources and factors of production, modifying production patterns and improving safety and quality of agricultural products and other items.”

The official finally noted that despite all the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic the agriculture sector in Iran is consciously thriving and the production of this sector has increased by 22 percent for grains and seeds and over 50 percent for horticulture products.

EF/MA

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