Agriculture and horticulture

Agricultural products of Maku include cereals, cotton, castor and sesame. Vegetables, apples, grapes, pears, walnuts and almonds are other agricultural products of Maku and irrigation water is provided from rivers, canals and wells. About 3.4 percent (8282 ha) of the total area of Maku (193,100 ha) is devoted to agricultural lands.
Out of the total area, about 6098 hectares is irrigated land which includes farms and orchards, and this figure is equal to 73.6 percent of the total agricultural land. And subsequently 26.4 percent of the land will be accounted for rain fed lands. In fact, about 2184 hectares of arable land in Maku, is rain fed land. Garden and nursery area of Maku is about one hectare and is negligible. Regarding the capacity of water resources, topography and soil, water conditions, the investment potentials in agriculture and horticulture fields in Maku free zone are as follows:

  • Developing cultivated area of sugar beet to supply the required materials of factories, increasing the farmers’ income, providing ideas to solve Urmia lake crisis
  • Developing cultivated area of profitable products such as potato
  • Developing orchards in downhill areas and preventing conversion of even lands into orchards
  • Investing on establishment of mechanization companies equipped with modern technologies and increasing mechanization ratio in the area
  • Investing in order to develop greenhouses
  • Investing in order to develop growing medicinal plants with regard to having plenty of medical herbs in the area and establishing related industries
  • Investment in the development of plantations and afforestation in national land
  • Investment in order to revive vast fields of the zone like Boralan, Zeydoon, Garejaloo, and Ganichen, regarding the availability of constant flowing rivers in the area
  • Investing in order to use Iran’s water share of Aras river and cultivating rich plains of the area like Zeydoon, Gharejaloo, Ghare aghaj, etc
  • Providing the needed facilities for maintaining and repairing aqueducts
  • Developing agro-industry companies by ceding public lands
  • Developing pressurized irrigation systems in dry-land areas to increase efficiency
  • Facilitating licensing of export to neighboring countries
  • Investments to develop production of organic products
  • Restoration of national lands and passing it to scientifically, technically and financially qualified people
  • Investments on production of improved and high yielding seeds
  • Investments on establishing factories and processing industries
  • Investments on establishing repair shops and offering service after the sale of agricultural machinery
  • Attempt to construct Badovli dam to control flowing waters of the area
  • Providing necessary funds to develop flatten and integrate agricultural lands
  • Investment on providing deep wells with electric power
  • Investment on establishing modern nurseries and proliferation of compatible plant species
  • Developing irrigation system


Animal husbandry and poultry

Based on available information, the number of cattle and calves in the dairy farms industry of province has been 74,274 out of which 1130 are in Poldasht, 1440 are in Showt and 1890 are in Maku. Statistics shows that the share of Poldasht, Showt and Maku cities in the number of cattle and calves in industrial dairy farms of West Azarbaijan is1.5, 1.93 and 2.54 percent respectively. The number of cattle and calves on dairy farms which produced milk was 16,681 in West Azarbaijan province, in 1389, out of which 1130 cows were in Poldasht, 1440 cows were in Showt and 1890 cows were in Maku, and the share of these cities was 6.77, 8.63 and 11.33 respectively. Maku's sheep is a kind of normal weight sheep in the country and based on classification is a kind of white wool and normal weight sheep that is resistant in cases of cold mountain climate and shortage of feed. Makuyi sheep is among the most populous race in the province of Western Azerbaijan and there is about 2.5 million sheep of this breed in the province. It is worth mentioning that this race in addition to this province also has been seen in Turkey and Azerbaijan. In Turkey it is known as Aq Karaman or White Karaman. A unique feature of this breed, is its thick and white wool. Although this item does not have a significant influence on the farmers' income, but in the carpet industry, this wool is the most favorite one because of its high potentials in coloration. Currently the focus of studies is on weight and nutrition of this race to increase the farmers' income in the region. Sheep milk forms part of farmers' income and it is noteworthy that Lighvan cheese is produced from this breeds milk. Laying hens is only raised in Showt with a number of 15 thousand in Maku free zone. In Maku, broiler chicken is also nurtured in nine units with a capacity of 12.5 thousand hens. Poldasht has 16 units with a capacity of 270 thousand hens and Showt also has 22 units with a capacity of 36.3 thousand hens. Breeding and keeping poultry in rural areas in a traditional style includes a variety of poultry, duck, goose and turkey, which is mostly for local consumption. The following can be considered as investment opportunities in livestock sector.

  • Investment on changing animal farming style to improve farmers living
  • Reconstruction and renewal of livestock sites by dedicating facilities and loans
  • With regard to the water condition in this area, fisheries and aquaculture development is a reasonable investment
  • Equipping and commissioning of pasteurized milk plant located in the industrial town number one
  • Investment on developing milk collecting centers
  • Land dedication to farmers in villages near to the city in order to establish a single livestock complex in the vicinity of the villages
  • Guaranteed purchase of animal products especially honey
  • Developing bee keeping because of expansive green pastures in the area
  • Developing exportation of livestock, agricultural, poultry and bee products to neighboring countries

In the city of Maku there are four major rivers, namely Aras, Gharasoo, Sarisoo and Zngmar and fresh water flows in all of these rivers.
There are different types of fisheries in these rivers and this makes it possible to establish different types of fishery workshops
especially fish in the region.Currently there are the rarest fishes in Maku rivers, and high potentials of the above mentioned rivers allow
investment in a variety fields of fishery industry which will provide job opportunities.
In addition, there are many wetlands in the area of Maku which by studying on them in the future they can be used in Aquaculture.
Poldasht also is one of the major centers of reproduction and breeding of native and hydrothermal fish and this district also is home of the broadest pastures. Approximately 60 tons crayfish are fished from Aras River and is exported to international markets. Currently lobster export from Aras River brings about considerable foreign exchange income annually.
Maku's long rivers in the region provides a unique opportunity in the field of production of fisheries for export, and Investments on the development of aquaculture behind dams of Maku, Aras and etc. and in irrigation pools of the area is recommended.