Wheat production is expected to exceed 12.867 million tons in the current Iranian year (started March 21) despite low rainfall last autumn, announced director general of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry's office for basic products.
Speaking in at one-day conference on implementation of conservation agriculture program Mehdi Kabouli said over 3.749 million tons of barley are expected to be produced during the period, IRNA reported.
He stated that Conservation Agriculture Program would be implemented in 3 million hectares of farms in the current year, adding $387 million have been allocated for the purpose.
"Conservation Agriculture Program, which focuses on the use of modern technology to shorten farming operations, is among the important plans approved by the cabinet," he noted.
The official said reducing water and soil erosion, optimizing fuel consumption, lowering pollution, increasing soil organic material, cutting production cost and augmenting producers' income are among the other benefits of the program.
Rust Prevention Plan
He referred to the success of wheat rust prevention plan in East Azerbaijan province, and said efforts have been made to combat rusts in 3000 hectares, bugs in 67,000 hectares and weeds in 1.6 million hectares of lands under wheat cultivations.
"We are planning to adopt necessary strategies to cut down on wheat waste during harvesting and transporting," he said.
Kabouli noted that about 4 million tons of barley was produced in the year to March 2011, reducing concerns about providing livestock feed.
The official said low precipitation has hit grain cultivation in the past four years.
He stated that conditions and time of cultivation are the most important factors affecting production, adding despite providing seeds and adopting suitable strategies, inappropriate climatic conditions reduced the efficiency of production.
The one-day conference on Implementation of Conservation Agriculture Program was held in Tabriz to help farmers get acquainted with the plan.
In line with the self-sufficiency program, Iran's wheat production has been steadily increasing over the past two years.
US sanctions prompted the nation to move towards self-reliance and greater overall independence.
In 2004, Iran celebrated self-sufficiency in wheat production, though cold weather in 2007-8 followed by drought forced Iran to resume imports.
Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk