Iranian agriculture authorities said that output and cultivation area for rice increased significantly over the last calendar year, ending March 19, to satisfy a growing domestic demand for the staple.
A senior official at the Iranian Ministry of Agricultural Jihad (MAJ) said on Saturday that the total harvest of rice plant across Iran last year increased by over 46 percent compared to the previous year, to reach 4.518 million metric tons, Press TV reported.
Faramak Aziz-Karimi, who heads the MAJ’s department for grains and staples, said that total output for white rice, the grain left from processing rice plant, topped 2.9 million tons at the end of the last calendar year, an increase of 45 percent compared to the previous year.
Karimi said the figure is exactly equivalent to the amount of white rice consumed inside Iran which is 35 kilograms a year per person based on official government estimates.
He said growing rice production in Iran last year was mainly due to an increase in cultivation area for the crop and better precipitation.
The official said land used for rice farming expanded by 230,000 hectares, or 38 percent, across Iran to reach an unprecedented figure of 834,000 hectares.
Karimi said rice farming area almost doubled in Golestan and Khuzestan, two provinces in northeastern and southwestern Iran, respectively, which underwent much of the flooding and heavy rainfall in March-April 2019.
Iranian authorities announced in October that the country no longer needed to import rice in heavy volumes from countries like India.
They said self-sufficiency in rice production could help the country cut around two million tons of imports per year.