1243 GMT May 21, 2022
The cotton project manager of the ministry said that output for unprocessed cotton is expected to top 327,000 tons in the current Iranian year, Press TV reported.
Ebrahim Hezar-Jaribi said that lands dedicated to cotton farming would increase by 16 percent to meet the output target.
Once a major producer and exporter of cotton, Iran has been a net importer of the crop over the past two decades.
Many cotton farmers have opted for other crops, especially wheat and barley, to benefit from government schemes that guarantee the purchase of their harvest.
Nearly a third of cotton processing factories in Iran have closed down in recent years, according to the ministry’s figures.
However, the government hopes increased activity in the Iranian textile industry could cause a fresh boom in cotton farming in the country.
Hezar-Jaribi said that current domestic output of cotton stands at around 270,000 tons per year from nearly 100,000 hectares of lands that are mostly concentrated in east, north and southern Iran.
He said that the country imports around half of its demand for processed cotton from aboard, adding that Uzbekistan continues to be the top supplier of the crop to Iran while textile factories also rely on shipments imported from Tajikistan and India.