Monday, March 07, 2005

Iran News - Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry

Iran News - Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry: "Lack of funds hurts Iran olive industry

Monday, March 07, 2005 - ©2005
LONDON, March 7 (IranMania) - Some 15,000 hectares across Iran would be added to the total area undergo olive cultivation in the year to March 2006, said the official in charge of implementing Olive Plantation and Development Program, adding that the industry is facing a severe shortage of funds.

Mehdi Maschi told ILNA that the program would need rls 50 bln (nearly $5.6 mln) in funds, stressing that the government has allocated only rls 22 bln (nearly $2.5mln) for Olive Plantation and Development Program which is underway in 25 provinces.

“Chronic shortage of funds has reduced development, processing and rehabilitation projects (in olive production sector),“ he said, adding that the program could help cut import of olive oil, which he said has topped 90%.

The official expressed hope that a major portion of the national demand for olive oil would be met domestically within the next 10 years, stressing, however, this will be possible only if sufficient funds are allocated.

Olive is produced in almost all Iranian provinces given the suitable climatic conditions.

The government has banned the import of olive because of apprehensions about the incidence of certain diseases in the country.

Several contracts have been reached with 12 engineering firms as part of olive development program. The programme is expected to help increase national olive production by 75% in the next few years.

This programme commenced in 1993 as a joint venture with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, with the aim of converting marginal croplands to olive orchards and reviving some of the degraded forests."


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