Rice fields in Iran (Photos)

Iran is a vast country, covering 1,648,000 km2 (164.8 million ha). Its topography is dominated by two mountain ranges – Alborz and Zagros – while two great deserts extend over much of the central region, leaving about 20 million ha for crop production. On account of the highly diverse climatic and soil conditions, only 12.5 million ha are cultivated annually with a wide range of food crops. Wheat, rice and barley are the most important cereals cultivated.

Rice is the staple food in Iran, with the quality of cooked rice outweighing all other considerations for Iranian consumers. The total area under rice is more than 600 thousand ha and rice is now grown in varying degrees in nearly all provinces of Iran. However, more than 80 percent of rice area is distributed in the two northern provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan.

Iran’s rice production in 2011 was 2.4 million tons, which increased from a total of 2.3 million tons in the previous year. Iran has 3,800 rice milling units (2009). Iran has imported about 1.4 million tons of rice from UAE, Pakistan and Uruguay worth $800 million in 2009. Iran’s rice imports drop by 40% in 2010. The average per capita consumption of rice in Iran is 45.5 kg, which makes Iranians the 13th biggest rice consumers.

The photos were taken in different Iranian provinces: Qazvin, Gilan, Kurdistan, North Khorasan, Fars and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.

Sources: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) | The rice situation in Iran by N. Shobha Rani, Wikipedia | Agriculture in Iran, Encyclopaedia Iranica | Berenj “rice”, Mehr News Agency | Photos, MNA | Photos, Tasnim News Agency | Photos 1, Tasnim | Photos 2, Tasnim | Photos 3, Tasnim | Photos 4, IRNA | Photos, ISNA | Photos 1, ISNA | Photos 2

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