Chamani said based on the latest statistics of Agricultural Jihad Ministry, Iran produces about 8.2 million tons of raw milk annually.
“Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and other Persian Gulf countries are major importers of Iran’s dairy products,” he said, adding that Iranian dairy products are also exported to Canada and Singapore.
Chamani, who is also the head of Iran Dairy Industries Association, said Iran produces infant formula, cheese, yogurt and packaged milk.
The official noted that in recent years, the country has witnessed an increasing trend in dairy production.
He explained that Iran’s import of dairy products declined from 1996 and reached self-sufficiency in 2011.
“Iran exported $400 million worth of milk and other dairy products in 1996, which has increased to $670 million at present,” he said.
Chamani said Iran’s dairy production capacity is 12 million tons, while it is operating at 50 percent of its capacity.
Iran has huge capacities in livestock and raw milk production. But since its products are not well-received in domestic and international markets, several dairy entities have been closed or are operating below capacity.
“Under the circumstances, milk and dairy producers can establish their economic viability by increasing exports,” he said.
Chamani also said the implementation of Subsidy Reform Plan led to an increase in milk and dairy prices, but the government did not allow prices to exceed 15 percent.