The support of agriculture and the achievement of self-sufficiency in this sector was placed at the top of the government's policies it was announce the agriculture should be the main axis of economic activities and that the promotion of the other economic sectors should be conducted in relation and to support that sector.
During the first development plan, 4.2 billion dollars were spent in agriculture sector. Iran's agriculture sector grew by 1% in 1996 and 4.5% in 1997. The gross value of products in Iran's agricultural sector reached $25 billion in 1997. While 28% of the countries man power are engaged in agriculture, agricultural productions comprise 30% of non-oil exports of the country. According to the report of the ministry of industries more than 237 food processing industries with the capacity of 1.5 million tons a year will be commissioned.
About 11 percent of the country's total land area of 163.6 million hectares is cultivated. Still 63% of the cultivable lands have not been used, and given the fact that 18.5 million hectares of the present farms are being used with 50 to 60% utility, and about one-seventh of the total cultivated land is sufficient to meet domestic demand.