Iran Plans to Revive Cotton Seed Plants to Boost Production: Deputy Minister

Iran Plans to Revive Cotton Seed Plants to Boost Production: Deputy Minister

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s deputy agriculture minister said the country plans to help a number of cotton seed plants come on stream in order to enhance production.

In order to help boost domestic production in the country the cotton plan, the transfer of all four factories in the country to the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Cotton and Oilseeds, financial assistance and investment in the cotton sector and timely financial security with the development of new markets need to be implemented, Hossein Shirzad, who is also the chief executive of Iran’s Central Organization for Rural Cooperatives, said on Sunday.

"The necessity of delinting of domestically produced cotton seeds and its replacement with fluffy seeds has always been very important at present, only about 30% of domestically produced seeds are provided to cotton farmers and another 70% are cultivated. Due to the fact that the seeds are hairy, they are not accepted as standard seeds by Seed Registration Research Institute,” he said.

“Today, delinted cotton seeds are used in almost all cotton-producing countries, because the use of this type of seed not only reduces seed consumption by 50% but also reduces production costs. The level is also considerably by 20%. This situation is in the context where four delinting factories have been built and ready for operation in the country for 25 years. Currently, the management of two delenting factories located in Kashmar and Gorgan cities, has been handed over to this company since last year, are being put into operation”.

The deputy minister added, “Therefore, it can be acknowledged that the reason for not exploiting these factories in the past few years has been the issue of their management and government ownership, which has made it difficult to rebuild and exploit them properly. However, the management of Kashmar and Gorgan factories has been temporarily handed over to the Cotton Cooperatives Union through the Ministry of Jihad for Agriculture. And despite the investment, amounting to 7 billion rials, although due to the urgent need for major reconstruction, the operation of the mentioned factory is associated with many problems.”

Dr. Shirzad further said that the operation of three factories in Kashmar, Gorgan and Parsabad and the delintation of all domestically produced seeds, requires the permanent transfer of these factories through the Ministry of Jihad Agriculture to the Union of Cotton Cooperatives so that the necessary reconstruction and renovation is possible. And in the year named by the Supreme Leader as the year of production jump, we are witnessing the delintation of 100% cottonseed production, which reduces seed consumption to about 50%, and in addition, by providing the possibility of disinfection and enrichment of seeds, increases Performance at the unit level, at least to a 20 percent of its size, which is also a very effective incentive in cultivation and production of cotton and supplying the country's needs.

On the other hand, improving the quality of cotton seeds is another important factor in the development of cotton cultivation, and in connection with increasing the quality of cotton seeds, which is the most important factor in achieving optimal performance, it is possible to produce cotton seeds without cracks (delintation). At present, the union, under the management of Fajr Sabz Middle East International Agricultural and Commercial Company (affiliated to the union), has four factories in Kashmar and Gorgan, and currently operates delintation Kashmar factory, and about one-third of the seeds are cultivated in this factory, he said.

Therefore, the reconstruction of these factories, which requires a lot of investment, can only be done by transferring their ownership to the private sector at an expert price, and as a result, in order to increase the quality of seeds sown in the country, 100% seed delinting should be done, the deputy minister continued. 

"Over the past two years, the union has tried to take steady steps by increasing the quality of its fibers. Because the issue of improving the quality of fibers from two sides is significant: first, Cotton treatment(ginning): In this regard, it is necessary to carry out annual repairs of factories and supervise their work in terms of how to purify and observe technical points according to the quality of cotton wool. Second, ways to harvest cotton:  At present, due to the non-observance of the correct principles of manual harvesting by workers, the quality of harvesting is not optimal and as a result, the extracted fibers do not have the desired physical quality of the textile industry. Therefore, mechanization of cotton harvesting will not only be an incentive for the development of cotton cultivation (by solving labor problems and reducing harvesting costs) but also by timely harvesting and with optimal quality, increasing the physical properties of fibers along with cultivation development will be provided," he concluded. 

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