• April 24, 2024

Self-sufficiency a dream

 Self-sufficiency a dream

Photo by Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

Doubt has been cast on claims that Iran will be self-sufficient in the production of tobacco within five years, according to a story in The Financial Tribune quoting the Al Sharq newspaper.

While the designers of the country’s sixth five-year development plan, 2017-2022, have envisioned Iran becoming self-sufficient, the plan seems unlikely to be fulfilled given what the Tribune described as the sorry state of Iran’s tobacco industry.

The plan has set the goal of producing between 40,000 and 50,000 tons of tobacco a year.

But, according to the head of the Center for Tobacco Planning and Supervision, Ali Asghar Ramzi, only 20 percent of this amount is now being produced in Iran. The other 80 percent is imported from Latin America, Africa and Asia.

“Plans have been made to increase land under tobacco cultivation by 500 percent to achieve self-sufficiency,” the official said, while adding that imported tobacco is 30-40 percent more expensive than is domestic tobacco.

The problem is that former tobacco farmers, who now grow rice or other agricultural products, are said not to be willing to switch back to tobacco.

Most tobacco farms in northern Iran have been converted to paddy fields or used to build villas.