‘Iran’s dairy sector will not be affected’

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Ahmedabad, May 16, 2018: As the Iranian economy braces itself for the after-effects of the latest US sanctions, its dairy sector has emerged as a strong pillar to withstand the ‘Western disturbance’.

Though Iran is self-sufficient in the dairy sector, it is keen to explore the possibility of cheese imports from India, a top official from its dairy sector said.

According to report published in thehindubusinessline.com “Iranian dairy industry’s dependence on imports is very limited. We are self-sufficient in the dairy sector. We are better prepared to address the situation with our internal supplies. Hence, the US sanctions will not impact Iran,” Mir Islam Teimouri, Chairman of board, Iran Dairy Industries Society (IDIS), told BusinessLine in Ahmedabad.

Teimouri is leading a delegation of dairy producers and experts from Iran to understand India’s cooperative dairy structure and management.

After visiting the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and few milk production centres in central Gujarat, Teimouri said Iran doesn’t require imports of dairy products as it is self-sufficient to feed its population with annual milk production of 10 million tonnes, which is growing 10 per cent every year.

“But we have limitations in cheese-making, mainly in the areas of diversity, innovation and quality. We saw India’s Amul doing good in this field and we will explore cheese imports from India if there are good opportunities,” said Teimouri.

He said Iran currently exports about 10 per cent of its annual milk production to the neighbouring countries. “We export milk products worth $800 million annually — mostly to neighbouring countries. We share good relations with them. Hence, I see no impact due to the US sanctions. The dairy sector in Iran is autonomous with 100 per cent private sector,” he added.

Meanwhile, IDIS is not looking at immediate commercial engagement with India, but it seeks support from NDDB on the aspects of training and interaction with small cooperatives on governance. Iran’s dairy sector employs about 2.5 million people directly or indirectly.

“We have the entire supply chain of dairy set-up, but some portions are still not complete — mainly in the small farms. The way NDDB is supporting villages with the cluster system, we want to implement it too. It helps people to earn more and doesn’t cause conflict of interest between the farmers and the dairies,” he said.

Also, for the genetic improvement of the local breed of milch animals, Iran may consider importing bovine semen from India. But, Teimouri said for that climatic conditions and the animal breeds need to match.

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