Iran is expected to harvest some 2.3 million tons of rice in the current Iranian year (started March 21) marking a 12-percent increase compared to last year’s figure, announced the secretary of Rice Guild Association.
Referring to the qualitative and quantitative increase in rice production, Jamil Alizadeh Shayegh said over 630,000 hectares are under rice cultivation, of which 520,000 hectares are located in the northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan, IRIB reported.
Iran’s total rice production stands at 2.2 million tons per annum whereas the annual rice consumption in the country is almost three million tons.
Iran had emerged as one of biggest export markets for Indian basmati in the last two years with close to 40 percent of that country’s exports, totaling around 2.2 million tons.
Earlier in May, Agricultural Jihad Minister Sadeq Khalilian announced a plan to ban rice imports in an effort to protect domestic producers.
The minister said rice imports would be banned from July 23 to December 21, which coincides with harvest season in Iran, IRNA reported at the time.
He referred to the notification and implementation of rice import ban in the same period last year and noted that the ministry’s policy is to support domestic production and if necessary some imports would be permitted within specified limits.