Country Focus Data: Iran

by Melissa Alexander
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Capital: Tehran.

Demography: Population 66.1 million, 0.72% growth rate (2001 estimates); languages are Persian (Farsi) and dialects, 58%; Turkish and dialects, 26%; Shi’a Muslim (89%) and Sunni Muslim (10%) religions.

Geography: Middle East, bordering the Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf; arid, semi-arid and sub-tropical climates; rugged mountainous rim; high central basin with mountains, desert; small plains along coasts.

Government: Islamic republic. Chief of State is Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei; head of government is President Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani.

Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agricultural Jihad under Minister Mahmoud Hojati.

Economy: Iran’s economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership (oil and other large enterprises), small agriculture and small-scale private trading and service ventures. Over the past several years, the government has introduced measures to liberalize the economy and reduce government intervention, change has moved slowly because of political opposition. Oil is a major source of revenue for the government.

Agriculture accounts for 24% of gross domestic product and employs 33% of the workforce.

G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$6,300 (purchasing power parity), 3% growth rate, 16% inflation (2000 estimates), 14% unemployment (1999).

Currency: rial. July 16, 2002 exchange rate: 1,741.25 rials per U.S. dollar (market rate).

Exports: U.S.$25 billion (f.o.b., 2000), petroleum, fruits and nuts, carpets.

Imports: U.S.$15 billion (f.o.b., 2000), industrial raw materials, foodstuffs, capital goods, consumer goods.

Major crops/agricultural products: Wheat, barley, rice, fruits, vegetables.

Wheat: Average production from 1997-2002 was 6.2 million tonnes, with imports averaging 5.3 million. Six-year annual total consumption averaged 15.3 million tonnes, with feed use averaging 383,000.

Barley: Five-year annual production averaged 1.8 million tonnes, with total use averaging 2.6 million and feed use averaging 2.3 million. Imports averaged 705,000 tonnes a year.

Rice: Five-year milled production averaged 1.4 million tonnes, with imports averaging 1.1 million and total use at 2.9 million.

Transportation: Highways, 104,200 km, 49,440 km paved; railroads, 6,130 km, mostly 1.435-m gauge; Bandar ‘Abbas, Chabahar, Bandar Shahid Rajaee are major ports.

Internet: Country code, *.ir; 8 service providers; 100,000 users (2000 estimates).

DATA (1,000 tonnes)

Production

Consumption

Exports

Imports

Wheat

9,500

15,000

0

5,000

Barley

1,500

2,300

0

7,052

Rice

1,066

2,800

0

1,250

2002-03 marketing year estimates

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

 

 

 

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