Minister of Agriculture Jihad Mahmoud Hojjati has indicated a growth of 43.5 percent in Iran's total exports of agricultural products in the last Iranian calendar year of 1381 (ended March 20), stressing that the exports are expected to reach as much as 1.1 billion dollars this year, IRNA reported from Tehran.
The Persian-language newspaper 'Jomhouri-ye Eslami' on Saturday quoted Hojjati as saying that the figure of Iran's expected exports of agricultural products excludes export of processed foodstuff.
He further stressed that the agriculture sector has the highest growth rate in Iran in the area of non-oil exports.
Hojjati recalled Iran's vast potential in the livestock section, stressing that Iran's domestic industries supply almost 95 percent of the red meat while there is a surplus of production of poultry meat.
He said that there will be an increase of 20 percent in state purchases of wheat from farmers, adding that Iran's total production of maize is also expected to increase by 25 percent by March 2004.
Hojjati further said that cooking oil still tops the list of Iran's imports of agricultural products, adding that Iran meets about 90 percent of its cooking oil needs through imports.
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