There are 680 farmers in Iran, who are all registered. These farms are small, family-owned businesses. The farmers at each production site are arranged in cooperatives, but the cooperatives themselves are not well organized. Some farmers sign an agreement with a shrimp factory which is called ‘the leader’. The leader supplies seed and feed to the farmers and after harvest, the leader collects the crop for selling in the local market or export. A leader is allowed to sign up such an agreement with up to 10 farmers. Around 70% of the Iranian shrimp production is organized by these leaders.
In the Bousherh province, the largest production area, the top producer is Roudshour Farms, which belongs to Mobarak Industrial Group. Their complex has 25 farms, each with a farming area of 20 ha. In the other provinces, like Hormozgan, Golestan, Chabahar and Khouzestan the top producing farms are respectively: Mogham Port Farm (120 ha) and Persian Prawn Farm (85 ha), Jahad Nasr Farm (200 ha), Nikoo Zarean Farm (120 ha) belonging to Mr. Haj Seyed Javadi and Meigoo Kesht Farm (150 ha) and Dam Toushe Novin Farm (120 ha), and Dashti Farms (100 ha).
In Khouzestan province farmers are fighting with the white spot disease (WSSD). The disease is endemic to this area and out of a total of 109 farms only 25 are currently active for fear of spreading the disease. As a result nobody is interested in investing for shrimp farming. In the other four provinces the investment for shrimp farming is increasing every year. New projects are being set up for building processing facilities, cold storage and hatcheries. Farmers themselves are interested in building deeper ponds (1.5 – 3 meters depth) with drainage facilities, which will allow for more intensive production. Because of weather conditions in Hormozgan and Chabahar there is a serious interest in having two production cycles per year.
The Iranian government’s sixth development project is focused on increasing the shrimp farming area to 15,000 ha and total production to 50,000/MT per year. As investments and production are increasing every year, it is likely that the above goals will be achieved.