Feb 07 2012
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Agricultural Growth To Continue
Sadeq Khalilian said that in addition to the public budget, some 11.38 trillion rials ($1.13 billion) have been allocated to the agricultural sector for the implementation of infrastructural projects, Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.
The minister added that 1.1 million hectares of farms have been equipped with pressurized irrigation system.
"A total of 3.5 million hectares of farmlands will be equipped with the system by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2010-15).
Khalilian said that extensive efforts are being made by the ministry to produce healthy and organic products, adding a committee has been established to pursue the project and improve the health index of foods.
The minister said that the major part of agricultural and livestock products including meat, chicken and fish are healthy.
Khalilian said that employing advanced technologies in the agricultural sector is among the most important plans of the ministry.
He said earlier that State Treasury is to make about one trillion rials ($100 million) available to promote the fund to support agricultural development.
He pointed out that promotion of the fund for supporting agriculture has been pursued since 2004.
He underlined the need to upgrade infrastructures, adding that modernizing irrigation methods is of prime importance. The farmers can benefit from the government's support, he added.
Referring to government grants to the agriculture sector, he said close to 85 percent of modern irrigation projects receive the government support. He urged farmers to become members of the funds for agricultural development.
Renovating Processing Industries
Meanwhile, a senior official of Iran's Agricultural Jihad Ministry said the ministry is to rebuild and renovate 1,300 units of the processing and complementary industries by the end of Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan.
Alireza Pourbasir explained that currently 16,000 processing and complementary units operate across the country, of which 5,000 have received the permit from the ministry, inn.ir reported.
Pourbasir pointed out that there are plans to create new capacities for processing 24 million tons of agricultural products.
He listed establishing and expanding technical warehouses, cold storages, packing units, processing units and slaughterhouses as the priorities of the ministry.
Launching processing industries in villages can help reduce the permanent or seasonal unemployment in rural districts, he mentioned.
He put the current capacity of the processing and complementary units for keeping and processing the agricultural crops at 100 million tons.
The official also said that over 21,000 jobs will be created in processing and complementary industries, of which 11,000 will be generated by industrial units and 10,000 will pertain to family-based jobs.
Pourbasir recalled that exports of processing products stood at $827 million during the Fourth Plan (2005-2010), predicting that the figure will rise to $2 billion by the end of Fifth Plan (2010-2015).
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