Iran’s barley production declines due to low precipitation

Rain-fed barley farms have suffered 30-40% of losses due to low precipitation levels and water shortage across the country, says the director general of Grains and Essential Goods Production Bureau with the Agriculture Ministry, expecting production to decline this year.

26 September 2021
ID : 33103
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Rain-fed barley farms have suffered 30-40% of losses due to low precipitation levels and water shortage across the country, says the director general of Grains and Essential Goods Production Bureau with the Agriculture Ministry, expecting production to decline this year.

Barley harvest in southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan

Rain-fed barley farms have suffered 30-40% of losses due to low precipitation levels and water shortage across the country, says the director general of Grains and Essential Goods Production Bureau with the Agriculture Ministry, expecting production to decline this year.

“This crop year [September 2020-21], the country has seen an average of 38% decrease in precipitation levels, which were sparse and insufficient. This is why, despite an 18% increase in land under barley cultivation this year, production will fall,” Faramak Aziz-Karimi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.

According to the official, this year a total of 1.8 million hectares of farms have gone under barley cultivation, around 1 million hectares of which are rain-fed and the remaining 800,000 hectares are irrigated.

“At present, we are planning to provide enough seeds, fertilizers and pesticides for the new crop year to ensure the domestic supply of the crop does not face serious problems,” he added.  

Iran is not self-sufficient in barley production and, every year, imports meet part of its local need for the grain from Russia, Kazakhstan, the UAE, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Australia and Romania.

Drought has inflicted more than 670 trillion rials ($2.4 billion) in losses on Iran’s agriculture sector since the beginning of the current crop year. 

According to Mohammad Mousavi, an official with Agriculture Ministry, assessments carried out over 11.2 million hectares of farmlands in 30 provinces show 43% of the total losses pertained to the decline in the production of agronomic crops, as well as 26% in horticultural products, 13% in fisheries and livestock, and 11% in forage crops. 

“In addition, 4% of the total damage are to blame on challenges created in water transportation infrastructures, pools, pipes, aqueducts and springs, and 3% of losses can be attributed to water supply complications and the animal feed used by nomads,” Mousavi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency. 

Iran is an arid country and the rise and fall in precipitation levels are characteristic of arid regions making predictions of domestic demand, import requirements and export capacities a challenge every year. 

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