Organic farming in the fertile plain around Takestan City in Iran
Agricultural engineer Saeid Ranjbar teaches and promotes organic farming in the fertile plain around Takestan City in Iran. He’s been a fan of Humintech’s products for years – and explains why.
Humintech: Saeid Ranjbar, how are you linked to agriculture?
Saeid Ranjbar: My father has a vineyard, so I grew up with farming. I became an agricultural engineer and now I have been a technical expert of the Agricultural Services Company for 7 years. I think education is the key to success and sustainability in farming and we’ve made good progress in the last years. I advise farmers about nutrition management, pest and disease management, irrigation management, pruning and more. Our general goals are
- teaching about modern irrigation systems to save water
- educate farmers not to use illegal pesticides
- promoting organic and biological fertilizers and fungicides
- spreading knowledge on how to use traps and cards to monitor pests and how to observe the period of toxins and fungicides
- renovating old vineyards
- development of cultivation of new table grape varieties for domestic consumption and export
We visit and perform technical advice and conduct training classes in other cities as well, for example in the province of West Azerbaijan.
Humintech: Tell us something about your area, please.
Saeid Ranjbar: Takestan City is located in one of the great plains of Iran called Qazvin plain and in terms of climate and soil we are among the best in Iran at agriculture. We’ve had yields of 120 tons per hectare in grapes, and 220 tons per hectare in tomatoes and various products including pears, nectarines, tomatoes, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, melons, watermelons, peaches, physalis, wheat and dry beans.
Humintech: Are tomatoes your main culture?
Saeid Ranjbar: We export tomatoes from more than 2500 hectares of outdoor cultivation around Takestan City to Dubai and Iraq for their outstanding quality, but we have a special love for grapes and vineyards. Our city and surrounding villages have more than 25,000 hectares of vineyards and the name of our city literally means vineyard: Tak = grape.
Humintech: I can see that in your pictures. What are the main markets for your grapes?
Saeid Ranjbar: We export table grapes to Russia, Central Asia and Europe. A huge amount of 70 % is for raisins; we produce sun dried raisins, tizabi raisins and golden raisins. And of course we have grapes for wine – an excellent wine variety called Shahani.
Humintech: What are your soils like?
Saeid Ranjbar: Iran is a country with four seasons in agriculture and the soils of different regions are different. In general, we have relatively good soil for agriculture, but in the future we might have a water crisis.
More than 90 % of Iran’s agricultural soils have alkaline pH, which causes problems in nutrient uptake in these soils. The average organic matter content of Iran’s agricultural soils is probably less than 1 %. Areas like the north of Iran have acidic soils with an organic matter of more than 3 %, which is similar to the soils of European countries; the reason is the high rainfall and humidity in these areas.
Humintech: Since when do you work with Humintech’s products and why are you convinced?
Saeid Ranjbar: 5 years ago, I was the first person to start advertising your company's products in our city and other parts of Iran. Before that, no one of my customers knew about the products. In fact, farmers were not very familiar with the subject of ecological and biological fungicides and fertilizers, and it was at this time that our soil was no longer responsive to chemical fungicides due to the lack of beneficial soil microorganisms. After starting to use BioHealth® those problems became a thing of the past. Biofertilizer that contains both fungi and beneficial bacteria along with seaweed and humic acid Leonardite in my opinion is unique, especially for Iranian agricultural soils that have a high pH and nutrients, such as iron, phosphorus and manganese, are blocked in the soil. Beneficial BioHealth® bacteria worked wonders and broke down all trapped material in the soil and provide it to the roots for easy absorption.
Humintech: We love to hear that. That means your customers trust in the products?
Saeid Ranjbar: The results of BioHealth® in grape nursery, tomato cultivation and vineyard was excellent; not only in preventing crown and root fungal diseases in tomatoes and grapes but also, with a continuous use for several years, we were able to control Esca disease in vineyards.
Moreover, I have a very close relationship with farmers and they trust me because they know I work for them.
Humintech: Can you tell what dosage you are working with, what works for you and your area?
Saeid Ranjbar: We use 2 kg per hectare of BioHealth® as a drip system, POWHUMUS® and HUMIRON® as irrigation water and foliar spraying. Foliar application of POWHUMUS® in grapes increases the sugar content of the berries and is also effective in coloring. Furthermore, it causes the cell sap to become completely concentrated and this year's branches to become entirely woody, which reduces the risk of frost. The foliar application is about 300 grams per thousand liters of water with several repetitions during the season and, for example in tomatoes, it causes uniformity, better filling of the kernel and darker coloring. BioHealth® and POWHUMUS® combined with nutrients will always be my advice for farmers.
The quality of Humintech products is excellent and we use your company's fertilizers in all stages of production. Due to the pandemic we’ve had problems to receive other products like Humiron® but we can’t wait to test it in Takestan area.