TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (MNA) -- For quite a long time Iran has been one of the major importers of wheat. Over the past 40 years, the rate of wheat consumption in Iran has increased greatly, rising to 240 kilograms per capita annually from 140 kilograms.

Annual per capita wheat consumption globally is about 90 kilograms.

 

Until recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran has imported four to five million tons of wheat per year. But this year, Iran was finally able to produce 14 million tons of wheat and achieve self-sufficiency in production of this staple crop after forty-five years. 

 

The achievement was not realized so easily and was the outcome of years of planning and endeavors by officials in charge of wheat production. According to Agriculture Jihad Ministry officials, the utilization of proper methods of farm management, reliance on accurate research by experts, the increase in output per acre, the acquisition and distribution of superfine seeds, and proper training of agricultural workers laid the groundwork for Iran to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production.

 

It is worthwhile to take a look at some statistics and figures in order to properly recognize the efforts made to make Iran self-sufficient in wheat production.

 

The draft of the Wheat Self-Sufficiency bill was ratified by the Majlis in 2001. According to the framework of the bill, the method of Principled Farm Management was adopted by wheat farms covering an area of over one million hectares, and about 4,000 university graduates in the field of agricultural engineering were employed to implement the plan.

 

Parallel to these measures, the utilization of modern mechanized machinery on wheat farms and the use of improved wheat seeds also helped boost wheat production in Iran in recent years.

 

Due to this comprehensive planning, wheat production steadily rose and in the harvest of 2004 Iran achieved self-sufficiency in wheat production for the first time in many years.

 

Agricultural growth is predicted to continue during the Fourth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2005-2010), and Iran is determined to eventually import more agricultural products.

 

However, a number of measures must be taken to maintain current wheat production levels and to achieve the target of exporting more agricultural products such as developing the irrigation network, optimal exploitation of water resources, providing the agricultural sector more mechanical equipment, insuring these products, and purchasing them from the producers. Relevant officials have also recognized the importance of these measures and are determined to continue and develop the necessary measures.

 

Achieving self-sufficiency in wheat production is a great victory for the Islamic Republic of Iran because wheat makes up about 50 percent of Iranians’ caloric intake. Self-sufficiency in wheat production is first of all a great economic achievement which boosts the power and sovereignty of the Iranian nation and government.

 

Throughout history, there are countless examples of the use of food as a weapon to pursue imperialist objectives. This tactic is still used in the contemporary era, with industrialized countries exporting their surplus crops and using food as a weapon against poor countries. 

 

Annual world wheat production is currently about 600 million tons, 405 million tons of which is used for domestic consumption in producer countries and the remaining 195 million tons is exported.

 

Ninety percent of this 195 million tons of wheat is produced by five major Western countries, and humanitarian considerations have never had priority over the political objectives of the West’s authoritarian governments.

 

Thus, a country which becomes self-sufficient in wheat production has in fact taken a step to prevent Western authoritarian governments from interfering in its affairs.

 

Therefore, achieving self-sufficiency in wheat production is a political and economic victory for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

SA/HG

End

 

MNA

News Code 9118

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