One such requirement is expansion of green space in this megacity which has always been incorporated into the environmental plans of such organizations as Astan Quds Razavi, the body in charge of Imam Reza (AS) holy shrine. AQR’s plans for preservation of gardens and orchards within its authority has placed Mashhad among the megacities with highest green space per capita.
In this heavily populated pilgrim megalopolis, Astan Quds Razavi is in charge of 720 ha of gardens, accounting for 35 percent of the urban green space. In addition to playing a positive role in preservation of the environment, these gardens have a good share in customer basket by their agricultural products.
AQR has an annual project for reconstruction and modification of its orchards, starting from Sept. each year and continuing to March. Through this project, old orchards are rehabilitated, old trees are replaced with young and disease-resistant saplings, and works related to pest control, pruning, improvisation of drip irrigation systems and the like are carried out.
According to Sadeqi, the managing director of Razavi Agriculture Company, planting 18,000 new saplings of fruit and non-fruit trees in AQR orchards is on the agenda of the company.
Another major achievement by Astan Quds Razavi is the establishment of Razavi Specialized Sapling Center, affiliated to Razavi Institute of Seeds and Sapling. The 60-ha center, located adjacent to Razavi Hospital, is planned to improve air quality in the vicinity of the hospital.
Roughly two years after establishment, Razavi Institute of Seeds and Sapling has managed to take major strides toward production of quality seeds and saplings. According to Salari, the managing director of the institute, during the current year, started March 20, 2020, the institute has produced 600,000 saplings of fruit and non-fruit trees, indicating 15 percent growth in comparison with the previous year. This has generated over 100 direct job opportunities as well.
The official further noted that all saplings have health certificates from the Agricultural Jihad and Seed and Plant Research Improvement Institute. The institute, thus, supplies municipalities with required quality saplings and seeds and plans to produce millions of such saplings in the years to come in line with boosting economic productivity and preserving natural resources.