Rural development budget increases by 2.5 folds

July 2, 2021 - 19:0

TEHRAN – The budget for rural development projects has increased by 2.5 times in the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 2021-March 2022) compared to that of the previous year, deputy head of the Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution, has announced.

A total of 80 trillion rials (nearly $1.9 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) were allocated this year for the implementation of rural development projects across the country, IRNA quoted Mohammad-Reza Shamloo as saying on Friday.

The credit will be spent on preparing, reviewing, and implementing the rural plans, improving the rural infrastructure, and the development of the villages, he explained.

He went on to note that so far, the development plan of more than 3,700 villages in the country has been prepared and reviewed.

Currently, 26 percent of the country's population lives in villages, around 39,000 villages have more than 20 households and 23,000 villages have less than 20 households.

Thus, more than 97 percent of the country's rural population lives in villages with over 20,000 households.

Rural-urban migration reverse

In Iran, where villages account for generating 20-23 percent of the value-added in the country, the development of rural areas has been always a top agenda of the governments’ activities.

Many efforts have been made over the past couple of years by the government to support villagers and slow down the trend of migration from rural areas to cities.

Rural tourism, agritourism, religious tourism, and ecotourism are alternatives or complementary economic activities that could further stimulate rural development while decreasing rural community dependency on one main economic sector (agriculture, forestry, energy, or mining).

Mohammad Omid, the vice president for rural development, said in November 2020 that for the first time in the country, the migration of people from rural areas to cities has reached zero.