Farming Beyond Borders Moving to Ukraine
September 04, 2016- Isfahan’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and Ukraine’s Kherson Chamber of Commerce and Industry have agreed for firms in Isfahan active in agribusiness to lease 500 hectares of land in the Ukrainian province as part of Iran’s so-called ‘Farming Beyond Borders’ project, IRNA reported.
“In the first phase 100 hectares of land will be allocated for the purpose. All kinds of products can be farmed in these fields and because we have a shortage of water as well as fertile land in Isfahan, this opportunity can help meet part of the domestic demand for crops,” said Mohammad Sadeqi from the Isfahan chamber.
The chamber’s officials signed a memorandum of understanding with their counterparts from Kherson as well as Donetsk in September of last year during a tour of the eastern European state.
‘Farming Beyond Borders’ is a government project aimed at reducing water consumption and increasing food security by renting or leasing arable land in other countries for growing water-intensive crops such as oilseeds and grains.
According to statistics released by the Agriculture Ministry, Iran already has close to 1 million hectares of land under cultivation in other countries and the figure is estimated to rise to 2 to 3 million hectares in the near future.
The ministry is using the overseas land to cultivate rice, corn and oilseeds, the domestic production of which is insufficient to meet demand at home.
Iran currently practices agro outsourcing in several regional countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. In addition to suitable climatic conditions and arability of land, these countries offer low irrigation costs. Also, Iran’s geographical proximity to these countries also cuts transportation costs.