Iran Rice Imports Increase by 93% in First Quarter
During the first quarter of new Persian year (started on March 21), Iranian government has increased rice imports by 93%. This move has sparked criticisms from local farmers and economists since they believe domestic productions can fulfill Iranian markets.
Iranian Rice Association Secretary Jamil Alizadeh-Shayeq said on Thursday that Iran needs to import only 500,000 tons of rice each year, but the government has imported around 530,000 tons of rice during the first three months of new Persian year.
“As the local farmers have managed to increase their productions dramatically, such measures damage the current balance in domestic markets. Starting next week, Iranian farmers will harvest rice in Northern provinces.” Jamil Alizadeh-Shayeq told the Herald Boy.
“Domestic markets will definitely face major shocks as soon as local producers start offering their reaped rice to markets. Due to the low prices of the imported rice, the domestically produced products will be remaining untouched in the country’s grain stores.” Shayeq declared.
“It is expected that Iran’s rice production reach 2.5 million tons this year. If Iranian government provides incentives to local producers, this figure will be more likely to increase in coming years.” Shayeq added and urged officials to support local farmers.
Jamil Alizadeh-Shayeq also criticized the government for not following the instructions made by Iranian Rice Association. “Unfortunately, this association has lost its influence and impact. I hope the next Iranian government pay attention to this fact, and help us to recover the position of Rice Association in the country.”