MOAJ Minister's Pinpoints

Perspectives Pinpointed by the Minister of Agriculture- Jahad regarding major challenges and approaches in the sector

In the name of god

Concerning the existing global know-how together with due national willing and possible support, particularly financial mobilization for agro-practitioners, would hopefully pave the way to realize positive foodstuff balance over a 10-15 year schedule.

This outlook is also strictly emphasized by the Supreme Leader as to underscore sound planning and policy-making in national economic arena based on viable outsourcing as well as inter-genesis insights. However, under current status, there identified core challenges and approaches geared to the sector as, but not limited to the following:

1. Lower added-value of agro-crops

Compared to other sectors, agriculture poses lower added-value. This feature stems in nature of the sector upon which, wide protections and basic supports are being globally directed for its sustainability.

2. Higher risk in the sector

This aspect is integral part of planning and seems not comparable with other sectors mainly due to extensive, impressive and negative impacts of certain factors e.g. plant/animal diseases, pests, climatic variation (cold, chilling or hot incidences), water scarcity, flooding, drought and else.

3. Need for govt. contribution in food-supply process.

Farmers are seriously growing basic stuffs and ingredients of our food basics while we have to over look their endeavors and regulate the market prices. To tackle with such pitfalls, appropriate mechanisms foreseen as below:

- Channelizing preferential investments

"Resilience Economy" entails realizing potential capacities of the sector via employing efficient investment, supports and protection. It seems not wise to hang up agriculture on capital market or meet Its requirements in competitive interaction with other sectors and instead, various supports mainly low-interest financial credits shall be seriously taken into consideration.

- Reduction of wheat area vis-à-vis rising productivity

Late Imam Khomeini strictly turned up this issue with significant emphasis and voice on wheat production. In fact, the Supreme Leader, representatives and public individuals are also assuming “wheat” as a meaningful indicator of government efforts. Over the past couple of decades, 6.5 m. ha. (2.5 m. h. Irrigated and 4 m. ha. rain-fed farms) has undergone to wheat cultivation.

However, recently and due to strategic maneuver, say 900.000 ha. are excluded from wheat farming and replaced by colza for harvesting greater oilseeds and broader self-sufficiency enhancement. The idea focuses on organizing a peer–farming approach over a 5 –10 year time – schedule in favor of oil-seeds sufficiency assurance.

- Production of 70% of oil over a 10- year perspective

Vegetable oilseeds farming constitutes less than 15% of national oil requirements and the sector urges securing 70% of domestic use by next 10 years efforts.

- Reduction of annual foodstuffs import from 13 to 3 m . tons

The past year was remarked by 13 m. tons of varying foodstuffs import whereas the sector intends gradual reduction of the bulk down to 3 m. tons over the next decade.

- Ministerial plans in connection with “Resilience Economy”

The Ministry of Agriculture – Jahad has overseen 5 master plans favoring “Resilience Economy” as follows:

1. Rising productivity index and increasing production of strategic crops;

2. Rising productivity index and leveraging agro-inputs (favoring wheat and oilseeds production);

3. Supplying and securing strategic stocks of agro-crops in favor of food-security;

4. Promoting foodstuffs and agro-crops export;

5. Focusing on external sources of farming within the framework of Off-territory Farming Initiative;

- Utilization of national subsidies resources

The rationale behind this approach targets reduction of vulnerability and fuel consumption of agro-business enterprises. The idea relies on subsidies resources and soft-loans bearing preferential rates for investment in renovation and optimization of fuel – consumption systems of targeted enterprises.

In conjunction with ongoing agro-mechanization condition, due planning were also made to import modern machinery and tools for substitution purpose and higher performance of the sector.

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