Official name: Islamic Republic of Iran
Official language: Persian
Government: Unitary theocratic presidential republic
Major Cities: Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashhaz, Tabriz, Rasht
Provinces: 1.Alborz, 2.Ardabil, 3.West Azarbaijan, 4.East Azarbaijan, 5.Bushehr, 6.Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari, 7.Fars, 8.Gilan, 9.Golestan, 10.Hamadan, 11.Hormozgan, 12.Ilam, 13.Isfahan, 14.Kerman, 15.Kermanshah, 16.South Khorasan, 17.North Khorasan, 18.Razavi Khorasan, 19.Khuzestan, 20.Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, 21.Kurdistan, 22.Lorestan, 23.Markazi, 24.Mazandaran, 25.Qazvin, 26.Qom, 27.Semnan, 28.Sistan and Baluchistan, 29.Tehran, 30.Yazd, 31.Zanjan
Ethnic Groups: Persian, Azari, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Kurd, Arab, Lur, Baloch, Turkmen and others
Holidays: Jan 9 Birthday of Muhammad and Imam Sadeq, Feb 11 Revolution Day, Mar 20 March equinox, Mar 20 Oil Nationalization Day, Mar 21 Saturda Norooz (Persian New Year), Mar 22 Norooz Holiday, Mar 23 Norooz Holiday, Mar 24 Norooz Holiday, Mar 24 Martyrdom of Fatima, Apr 1 Islamic Republic Day, Apr 2 Nature Day, May 16 Prophet's Ascension, Jun 3 Imam Mahdi's birthday, Jun 4 Anniversary of Khomeini's Death, Jun 5 Revolt of Khordad 15, Jun 21 June Solstice, Jul 8 Martyrdom of Imam Ali, Jul 18 Eid-e-Fetr (End of Ramadan), Aug 11 Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq, Sep 23 September equinox, Sep 24 Eid-e-Ghorban (Feast of Sacrifice), Oct 2 Eid-al-Ghadir, Oct 23 Friday Tassoua, Oct 24 Saturday Ashura, Dec 2 Arbaeen, Dec 10 Demise of Prophet Muhammad and Martyrdom of Imam Hassan, Dec 12 Martyrdom of Imam Reza, Dec 22 December Solstice, Dec 29 Birthday of Muhammad and Imam Sadeq.
Airport: Emam Khomeini International Airport
Religion: Shia Islam
Area: 1,648,195 km (18th)
Area Under Rice Cultivation: 615000 ha
Rice Production Season: 1. Planting: May-June 2. Harvesting: Sep.-Oct.
Agricultural Website: http://www.areo.ir
Population: 78,192,200 (17th, 2013)
Currency: Rial (IRR)
Calling Code: +98
Introduction. Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, and Azerbaijan; with Kazakhstan and Russia across the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest nation in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world; with 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 17th most populous nation. It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean coastline. Iran has been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia and the Strait of Hormuz.
Tehran is the capital and largest city, serving as the cultural, commercial, and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a major regional and middle power, exerting considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy through its large reserves of fossil fuels, which include the largest natural gas supply in the world and the 4th-largest proven oil reserves. It hosts Asia's 4th-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The name of Iran (ایران) is the Modern Persian derivative from the Proto-Iranian term Aryānā, meaning "Land of the Aryans", first attested in Zoroastrianism's Avesta tradition. The term Ērān is found to refer to Iran in a 3rd-century Sassanid inscription, and the Parthian inscription that accompanies it uses the Parthian term "aryān" in reference to Iranians.
Historically Iran has been referred to as "Persia" or similar (La Perse, Persien, Perzië, etc.) by the Western world, mainly due to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis (Περσίς), meaning land of the Persians.
Iran has tried to play the leading role in rice sector, specially for ECO member countries and it has tried to facilitate collaboration and cooperation through CWARice.
Geography. Iran lies between latitudes 24° and 40° N, and longitudes 44° and 64° E. Its borders are with Azerbaijan (611 km (380 mi)) (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave (179 km (111 mi)) and Armenia (35 km (22 mi)) to the north-west; the Caspian Sea to the north; Turkmenistan (992 km (616 mi)) to the north-east; Pakistan (909 km (565 mi)) and Afghanistan (936 km (582 mi)) to the east; Turkey (499 km (310 mi)) and Iraq (1,458 km (906 mi)) to the west; and finally the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south. Half of the country is covered with mountains and highlands, quarter with deserts and the rest with arable land.
Agriculture. Roughly one-third of Iran's total surface area is suited for farmland, but due to poor soil and inadequate water, its two-third is not under cultivation. Only 12% of the total land area is under cultivation (arable land, orchards and vineyards) but less than 30% of the cultivated area is irrigated; the rest is devoted to dry farming. The western and northwestern parts of the country have the most fertile soils.
Approximately 33 million hectares of the land area have good capacity for cultivation but just 18.5 million hectares are cultivated, of which 8.5 million are irrigated (irrigated farming 5.2 million ha, irrigated gardens 1.1 million hectares and irrigated fallows 2.2 million hectares) and 10 million hectares are rainfed.
Wheat, rice, and barley are the country's major crops. The Iranian grain sector is highly regulated. Producers receive subsidized access to input costs such as fertilizer and pesticides, as well as a guaranteed support price for their crops.
The wide range of temperature fluctuation in different parts of the country and the multiplicity of climatic zones make it possible to cultivate a diverse variety of crops, including cereals (wheat, barley, rice, and maize (corn)), fruits (dates, figs, pomegranates, melons, and grapes), vegetables, cotton, sugar beets, sugarcane and pistachios, nuts, olives, spices e.g. saffron (World's largest producer with 81% of the world's total output), raisin(world's third largest producer & second largest exporter), tea, tobacco,Berberis (world's largest producer) and medicinal herbs. More than 2,000 plant species are grown in Iran; only 100 of which are being used in pharmaceutical industries. The land covered by Iran's natural flora is four times that of Europe.
The necessity of conducting applied research and issues related to the extension and commercialization of research products were in the list of priorities in the agricultural sector. In this regard, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension organization(AREEO) as the biggest and oldest “ research, education and extension network”,continuously attempts in performing activities to promote applied research and sharing their scientific findings, also empowering agricultural workers.
Rice. is a strategic crop after wheat in Iran. Based on information published by Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), area under rice cultivation in Iran is 620000 ha, while its annual yield is as high as 3.6 million tons. 80% of total area under rice cultivation is located in Gilan and Mazandaran provinces.
Since the rice production in the world must increase approximately by as high as 70% to meet the global demand, it is predicted that the domestic demand in the country could reach to nearly 4 million tons by 2020. As there is an increasing demand for rice (the second staple food) in the country, the need to increase its production through improving yield in unit area(ha) is obvious.
The improvement of rice yield over the last 50 years has been the result of continuous endeavors by plant breeding scientists to produce improved varieties. Continuation of such efforts to breed and introduce productive varieties strengthens the hope for life in future generations. Using sophisticated breeding methods makes it possible to create improved varieties.
Current consumption in Iran is about 3.4 million tons and is projected to rise to 5.1 million tons by 2035 (+50%).
During the past three decades, under cultivation area, production and rice importing have experienced many changes in Iran, so that the demand for rice has considerably been increased in comparison with its production. This caused an increase in importing the rice in response to the quick demand for the rice.