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Livestock Industry in Iran

Livestock rearing is one of the earliest known industries to mankind. In Iran this industry dates back to centuries ago.

Livestock farming is considered part of the agriculture sector as many of its activities are related to farming and food production. Iran is among the leading consumers of red meat in the West Asian region. Lamb is the most popular red meat, then beef, followed by goat.

The per capital consumption of red meat for Iranians stands around 12.5 kilograms according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture of Iran estimates the domestic demand to be roughly around 900,000 tonnes of red meat annually. This is while the country’s annual production stands around 880,000 tonnes of red meat. So the government imports some 30,000 tonnes to meet domestic demand.

In 2019, the government banned the exports of meat and began importing large amounts of meat in order to meet the countries internal needs. This measure was set in place to help strengthen domestic meat productions. Last year Iran over produced red meat. Iran’s Livestock Exporters National Assembly puts Iran’s domestic need at around 60 million heads of light livestock each year. But currently this number is in excess of 12 million above average.

Excessive imports amid the hike in domestic production as well as huge fall in consumption due to the coronavirus outbreak created a surplus.

Industry participants are calling on the government to lift the export ban to correct the supply imbalance and prevent losses.

Based on the figures from Iran’s Statistical Center, there are over 1.3 million livestock holding farms spread across the country. 54 percent of these, farm small livestock, and 26 percent are dedicated to large livestock husbandry.

The remaining 20 percent, farms both large and small livestock. Industry participants have always strived to keep up with the world’s scientific and technological standards to supply demands. And, Iran has the potential to be a major red meat and poultry exporting hub in the region regardless of the unfair US imposed sanctions.


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