0516 GMT November 23, 2017
Abbas Rajaei further told Iran Daily that the potential five-fold rise in the export of agro products can also include processed or raw food products.
He called on the Agricultural Jihad Ministry to draw up special plans to increase agro exports.
Rajaei urged the ministry to import raw materials required by factories to provide a much-needed fillip for exporting food and agro goods.
The senior lawmaker underlined that manufacturing units should be set up in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman to cut down freight costs.
He pointed to the lack of strategic plans for agro exports and urged the legislature and officials to make all-out efforts to exploit untapped potentials.
Rajaei stressed that the agro sector should keep abreast of new technology and move towards modernizing the agriculture sector to boost exports.
"Modern agriculture refers to supplementing existing capacities with new capacities and modern techniques such as high-tech system, nanotechnology and biotechnology," he said.
The parliamentarian noted that modernizing the agriculture sector will certainly promote both the production and export of agro products.
Rajaei said Iran can exploit the vast potentials of neighboring markets to develop agro and food exports.
He pointed out that the agro and food exports to Russia will gain momentum once obstacles to money transfer with the Caspian Sea state are overcome.
"Agro exports to Russia are underway, but they are hindered by financial drawbacks," the MP said.
He added that the Foreign Ministry and Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries, Mines and Agriculture are seeking ways to prevail over the financial problems.
Rajaei said in addition to Russia, Iran can also exploit the huge potential exports of Iraq and Afghanistan.
He commended government's support for boosting exports to neighboring countries, saying: "The administration has turned over a new leaf in agro exports."
He criticized the inclusion of the export of food products as a sub-branch of industrial exports. "Currently, food exports are not included in the agro sector, which have reduced the annual earnings from agricultural exports," Rajaei concluded.