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Iran Gets Self-Sufficient in Fertilizer Production

Iran has recently become self-sufficient in the production of nitrogen fertilizers, thus meeting all needs of its agricultural sector. “About 6 million tons of nitrogen fertilizers are produced in the country every year. Of this amount, 1.7 million tons are destined for local use and the rest is exported,” Yazdan Seif, the managing director of Agricultural Support Services Company (ASSC), said. ASSC is a public company supervised by Iran’s Agriculture Ministry, responsible for procurement, production and distribution of agricultural inputs in Iran.

According to Iran’s Deputy Agriculture Minister, Abbas Keshavarz, private producers in the country account for about 50% share of the domestic fertilizer market. He added that before President Hassan Rouhani took office August 2013, Iran had used to import 95% of its crop nutrients. The Iranian fertilizer market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 3.5% in the 2015-2020 period due to the pressing need for an improvement of the yield of arable land in the country. Accordingly, it is also forecasted that fertilizer consumption will go up in the next 5 to 10 years as the Iranian government aims to attain and keep self-sufficiency in the production of staple food crops by 2025.

Crop nutrients are key for the Iranian agriculture since a significant portion of land available for cultivation has poor soil fertility. Moreover, due to low precipitation levels, the use of fertilizers becomes a necessity and a prerequisite to enhance agricultural production. Thank to rich natural gas reserves, the country has multiple facilities engaged in the production of urea and other nitrogen-bad crop nutrients. However, demand for phosphate and potash fertilizers is still being met mainly by imports. Pardis Petrochemical Company, Kermanshah Petrochemical Company, Khorasan Petrochemical Company, Razi Petrochemical Company and Shiraz Petrochemical Company are among the major players in Iran’s fertilizer market.

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