Source: Mehr News Agency
Iran imported 897,000 tons of rice, valued at $884 million, during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20, 2012, ISNA reported, citing statistics released by the Iranian Customs Administration.
Compared to the same time span last year, the figures showed a 18.8 percent increase in terms of value and 3.3 percent rise in terms of volume.
India, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan were the main exporters of rice to Iran.
China, Austria, Thailand, Turkey, Singapore, Oman, and Russia were the other sources of rice exports to Iran.
On December 19, 2012, Mehdi Kabuli, an official with the country's Agricultural Jihad Ministry said that Iran needs to import 500,000 tons of rice each year.
Iran plans to produce over 2.4 million tons of rice in the current Iranian calendar year, Kabuli added.
Annual rice consumption in Iran stands around 2.8 million tons, so we only need to import less than 500,000 tons of rice this year, he said.
Iran plans to reach self-sufficiency in rice production during the next three years.
According to the Agriculture Jihad Ministry's plan, Iran was supposed to reach self-sufficiency in the rice production field by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2013), but the officials recently announced the plan needs some more 3 years to be completed.
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