Alimorad Sarafrazi, the Director-General of the International Affairs and Specialized Organizations of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture held a meeting with a visiting European delegation in Tehran on Monday morning headed by Sarah Rinaldi, Head of Unit European Union at European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships.
Sarafrazi said in the meeting that Iran and the European Union had previously had good cooperation in the field of agriculture which has recently decreased due to the sanctions imposed on Iran.
He also said that Iran is willing to make use of European Union’s experience to improve the agricultural business environment in Iran and design an appropriate structure for agricultural employment in rural areas with an emphasis on the employment of villagers and tribesman women.
Sarafrazi described smart agriculture, increasing water productivity and making use of solar energy in the agricultural industry as potentials for Iran-EU cooperation.
He also mentioned several agricultural projects that have been stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the need to re-start the projects.
He further suggested that a joint specialized working group to be set up between the representatives of Iran and the European Union to discuss the general issues raised in the meeting in more detail.
Sarah Rinaldi, for her part, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting noting that a seven-year strategic document has been drafted to expand cooperation between Iran and the European Union. She pointed to an € 87 million budget that has been allocated by the European Union to Iran to assist with its development projects.
The European Union is ready to continue the previously mentioned cooperation issues and to start new collaborations in the fields of marketing of Iranian agricultural products, standardization, organic products and sustainable development of the value chain.
Rinaldi also pointed some of the projects included in the seven-year strategic draft and stated that European Union’s approach is in line with the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture to develop cooperation in those areas.