Alalamalislami: An Italian producer of agriculture equipment is investing in Iran’s northwestern Moghan which is a major hub in the country’s food industry, local media report.
The Nardi Group will soon open an office in Parsabad after its chief executive Virgilio Mazzardo visited the region to assess investment potentials, the IRNA news agency reported.
He visited Moghan Agro-Industrial and Animal Husbandry Company (MAIAHC) and local farmlands, announcing interest in investment in the region, MAIAHC’s president Orujali Mohammadi said.
Mohammadi said the Italian company will initially produce agriculture machinery in Iran, with a vision to export them later.
The Iranian Moghan borders the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan and is placed on the crossroads of the Caucasus with its sizable agriculture industries.
Some of Iran’s biggest food processing, dairy, beet sugar and cotton production units are based in the Moghan plain.
The region is also famous for its mechanized gardening and production of organic fruits from over 2,500 hectares of orchards.
Multiple climatic zones allow Iran to cultivate a variety of crops and fruits. The country is the lead grower and exporter of several agricultural products, including pistachios, saffron and raisin.
Since 1979, Iran has been following a self-sufficiency and food production drive but a series of challenges, including inefficient land governance and nagging drought, have hampered the effort.
Colorized picture of farmers winnowing grain in southern Iran, 1921
Agriculture accounts for 13% of Iran’s GDP and over 20% of its employment but it is characterized by low productivity and investment.
The industry uses up 92% of the country’s water, according to Iranian officials, draining valuable reserves which have formed over thousands of years.
The sector has traditionally been the key foundational block of the Iranian society but it began to lose much of its significance since the first oil wells were struck.
Mismanagement, however, is the main drawback of the sector. Experts say efficient agriculture and food production practices are crucial to Iran’s development and employment given that the sector is less exposed to US-led sanctions.