Agriculture occupies a special place in Iran’s economy as it supplies the country’s already extensive and constantly expanding food processing industry. Agricultural and animal hblsbandry products have alw ays provided the major non-oil export items such as pistachios, raisins and even carpets (the wool or silk used in them).

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It has also provided raw materials for sugar refineries, flour mills, gunny weaving, and silk yarn manufacturing. Production of dyes from agricultural products, and wool from sheep breeding have been important elements in the manufacture of Iran’s most famous traditional export product, ie caryets, Preserved (canned) fruits, tomato paste, vinegar, fruit juices, and raisin and date syrup, have always been important processed foods, whose industry is rapidly expanding and becoming modern and up to date. Potato chips, biscuits, and other sweets are also strong food processing areas.

The processed food industry is a very important sector of Iran’s economy-. So is agriculture, and both together have become essential for the economy and very prominent in the eyes of Iran’s policy-makers.

The nation has extensive plans for the development of agriculture, and production of agricultural products is constantly on the rise as can be seen from the tables below. Agriculture (1000 tons) 1991-3

Cotton (raw)412386275

Plans made to further increase productions resulted in the table below:

Wheat10,732,00033,977,000 (tons)
Rice2,500,0002,885,040 (tons)
Cotton330,113521,000 (tons)
Beetroot5,999,3087,717,000 (tons)
Potatoes2,248,0473,159,000 (tons)
Sugar Cane185,585500,000 (tons)
Oil Seeds267,140425,300 (tons)
Red Meat738,330783,000 (tons)
Chicken433,207752,400 (tons)
Fish and Other Sea Foods127,566438,720 (tons)
Milk5,409,5556,045,000 (tons)

A large portion of the products mentioned above is used in the processing industry as raw material. Iran’s food industry, is backed up by a good supply of domestic agricultural commodities.