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Agriculture employs 27 percent of labor force in Iran

An Iranian official said in Tehran on Wednesday that 27 percent of labor force are employed in the agriculture sector, IRNA reported.

Deputy Agriculture Jihad Minister Gholam Reza Sahraeian said that no country has developed by ignoring agriculture. "Given that Iran has a large gap in industrial development with the world, there should be more attention paid to the agriculture sector," he added.

"The slogan of independence without achieving self-sufficiency in the farming sector rings hollow." He further stressed the importance of self-sufficiency in strategic products saying that currently, 25 percent of rice, 90 percent of cooking oil and over 600,000 tons of sugar consumption are imported.

In related news, Head of Tehran province Agricultural Jihad Department said here Tuesday that the agriculture sector recorded a 10 percent growth in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).

Hassan Rokni said in the past several years constructive policy steps have been carried out in the sector with impressive results. He said national economic plans have called for self-sufficiency in the agriculture sector by the next decade.

Last year, Rokni said wheat production was such that given a small amount of savings in consumption, 'we would not have needed to import any wheat'.

He further said wheat production occupies a special place in the economy.

In recent years wheat production has been rising drastically and the country has been able to achieve near self-sufficiency in the dietary staple.

Agriculture Jihad Ministry has said that the agriculture sector's share in the non-oil exports stood at 20.4 percent in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21).

... Payvand News - 12/3/03 ... --

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