Tehran, Oct 4, IRNA-Iran attained self-sufficiency in corn production ahead of the schedule, said the official in charge of corn project at the Ministry of Agricultural Jihad Kamal Zabihi in Tehran on Tuesday.
Zabihi told a group of agricultural officials that under the 10-year plan to increase corn production, Iran was to become self-sufficient in production of the crop by 2011 but managed to meet the goal sooner than schedule thanks to the new programs of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry.
He said corn production in Iran, with a 35 year background, has shown highly favorable growth since 1982.
Corn production averaged 128,000 tons/year in the 1982-1991 period, reaching 1,930,000 tons last year, said Zabihi, adding that the figure is expected to reach 2,200,000 tons this year.
He said corn harvest has begun in western parts of Iran, including Lorestan, Kermanshah, and the east and west Azerbaijan provinces since September and will continue in other parts of the country until February 2006.
He added that average corn harvest in Iran is seven tons, that is higher than the global standard of 4.9 tons and its annual production is expected to further rise to 8,500,000 tons once a corn farming project comes on stream.
The official said climatic diversity, high knowledge of the orn growers, use of domestically-made machinery and production of hybrid corn are among advantages of corn production in Iran.
There are 320,000 hectares of lands under corn cultivation this year, up by 36,000 hectares compared to the areas under corn cultivation last year, added Zabihi.
He put the average corn imports by Iran over the past decade at 1,500,000 tons/year.
He said each ton of corn imported to the country costs Iran about dlrs 120 to dlrs 130.
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