September 28, 2023

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Iran, FAO to expand joint research on plant protection  

TEHRAN-The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Iranian Ministry of Agriculture stressed the need for boosting bilateral cooperation in the field of plant protection.

Plant protection is a branch of agricultural sciences that studies biology and the ecology of crops’ harmful organisms. It develops methods to control and prevent crop damage and yield loss.

It involves disciplines that require knowledge of the biology of pests, principles of crop production, biotechnology, pesticide toxicology, and environmental sciences. Besides, plant protection is an integrated approach based on biological control strategies, population dynamics, and molecular and genetic understanding of plant-pathogen, plant- pest interactions in order to minimize damaging species’ impacts upon natural environments.

In this line, Mojtaba Khayyam-Nekouei, the deputy agriculture minister, held a meeting in Tehran on July 30 with Yuak Dhoj G C, the FAO Representative ad interim to Iran.

Referring to the important role of FAO and its potential in advancing agricultural projects, especially in the research sector, Khayyam-Nekouei emphasized the need to approve a Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) as one of the main priorities.

The FAO official, for his part, stressed the necessity of expanding cooperation with the organization of agricultural research, education, and promotion. He promised to place the priority on approving a TCP on plant protection.

In May, the first technical cooperation program between FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture was launched with the aim of increasing the productivity of dryland farming in the northwest of the country.

Funded by FAO, the joint project is designed for targeted support of food security, sustainable agriculture, and rural development, IRNA reported.  

Over the last 11 years, the average area under dryland farming in the country was about 5.45 million hectares, of which around 3.7 million hectares were under wheat cultivation.

Also, some one million hectares were planted with barley, 456,000 hectares were under chickpeas, 126,000 hectares were under lentils, 44,000 hectares were under oil seeds, and 84,000 hectares were under fodder, producing as much as six million tons of crops annually.

In July, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture embarked on a strategic partnership to bolster pistachio production and export in Iran.

The FAO representative ad interim, and Mohammad Mehdi Boroumandi, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Horticulture, inked an agreement to implement the Pistachio Technical Cooperation Project.

Pistachio, a cherished and economically crucial crop in Iran, has gained international recognition for its quality and taste.

With the objective of strengthening this vital sector, the TCP project on “improving Pistachio’s production and export through the establishment of integrated product management” aims to enhance production efficiency, ensure sustainable farming practices, promote quality control mechanisms, and foster increased export opportunities for Iranian pistachio producers using Integrated Crop Management, ICM, approach.

To be piloted in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi, Kerman, and Yazd, the project will also enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture Jahad in improving the Pistachio’s integrating supply chain management with emphasis on productivity, harvesting, processing, and contaminant’s safety regulations.

The supply chain process will be further enhanced involving an increasing trend in Pistachio production, consumption, and exportation in the long run.


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