In an interview with IRNA in Urmia, Hossein Zeinali added, “In case this is welcomed by the beneficiaries and producers, an extra amount of two thousand billion rial of bank facilities will be allocated for employment in this sector.”

He went on to say, “The development of production chains in medicinal plants’ cultivation as well as strengthening genetic resources are among the plans of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad to promote the well-being of the society and decrease treatment costs.”

Zeinali restated that last year, the value of medicinal plants’ import was 150 million dollars and that of essential oil equaled to 92 million dollars, “On developing medicinal plants’ cultivation, not only do we save water consumption, but that we can decrease the import in this sector.”

Referring to making center of excellence for research activities in agriculture and unification in research, he noted, “Center of excellence based on talents will start as of this year, and researchers will be active in their own fields. This will contribute to the strengthening of active regions in production as well as that of notable talents.”

The executive manager of Medicinal plants’ Project of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad stated, “Branding of native medicinal plants, economic production and commercialization are all in the agenda.”

“Taking advantage of the capacity of our borders, our climate and interaction with our neighboring countries in West Azerbaijan can all play a significant role in exporting medicinal plants to the European countries,” he noted.

Concerning Rosa damascena cultivation development in West Azerbaijan and the government’s support in this regard, he said, “It had been estimated that 30 hectares of Rosa damascena would have been developed in this province, this year; however, this number was increased to 77 hectares.”

He further added, “The government supports the production increase of this plant in this province up to 109 hectares. Hence, for cultivation development of Rosa damascena per hectare,  25 to 30 million rial of subsidy and bank facility will be given to farmers, 10 percent of which pertains to the farmers’ costs.”

Referring to the profitability of sumac cultivation in West Azerbaijan, he noted,”450 hectares of this plant is under the cultivation in this province. However, there is yet to have a processing unit for this plant.”

“There needs to be investment for this province’s two organic plants of musk willow and Dracocephalum moldavica.” According to Zeinali.

Concerning government’s support for Dracocephalum moldavica’ s cultivation in West Azerbaijan, the executive manager of Medicinal plants’ Project of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad said, “170 hectares of this province’s lands are under the cultivation of Dracocephalum moldavica. This medicinal plant, however, does not receive any fertilizers and it is completely organically-grown.”

According to IRNA, National Conference on Organic Cultivation and Medicinal Plants is held in Urmia for 2 days. This conference is attended by producers, experts and researchers of this sector. 197 lectures and posters are presented  in the two days of the conference.