“As Iran, we cannot compare ourselves with Germany. But, we can try and we can be better. Developing countries should act together. And we have this capacity. We have this knowledge.”
Dr. Homayoun Moradi
Interview by: Cemalettin Kanaş, Tehran
FeedExpo2018 and Tehran visit was very fruitful for us. We found the opportunity to get in touch with both the representatives of global companies and Iran-based brands. One of Iranians companies we had the chance to get in contact with was Biorun. We made an interview with Dr. Homayoun Moradi, the Managing Director of Biorun. Biorun was established in 2000 with the target of constructing the most modern biotechnology facility in the Middle East and started production in 2005. Mr. Moradi says that they have the capacity to make a production for a population of 400 million and they are planning to export to neighboring countries of Iran. Moradi says that developing countries such as Iran, Egypt, and Turkey should get closer to each other and adds, “Developing countries should act together. And we have this capacity. We have this knowledge.”
Below are our interview questions and the answer of Mr. Moradi:
You are the Managing Director of Biorun. Can you please introduce your company?
First of all, thank you so much for this interview. Actually, for us, there were three major factors for establishing such a company. One is environment, the second is agriculture and the last one is safe food. About the environment, we were anxious about the malaria. For this reason, our first product is a biological one that is combatting malaria and larva. It is one of the best products in the world in its area. This product received the approval of WHO. The second point of view is agricultural. There are two different aspects in agriculture; combatting the disease and helping the growth and bio-fertilizing. About these aspects, we have two kinds of products. The first one is biopesticides, which are combatting the disease for the agriculture and one of the best products. We introduced them also in turkey. They have received very good results.
And bio-fertilizing, which is very good for growing and fertilizing of the plants. We also use them in Turkey and are getting very good results from this product as well. We have received some documents and are satisfied with that. For the safe food, as I mentioned, we are one of the biggest organizations in the Middle East producing probiotics and symbiotics. These are in order to prevent the use of antibiotics and create health for the people.
The capacity of our factory is huge. We have enough capacity to make production for not only for Iran but a population of 400 million. Furthermore, fortunately, as this company is a knowledge-based one -or in other words- science-based, we have very good scientists in Iran cooperating with us, with companies and all universities.
We also receive some support from the government and administration mostly. But I do not mean financial support because we are a self-sufficient company and we are doing business on our own.
Then what kinds of support are you receiving, if not financial?
I would say that the supports we are receiving are about administrative issues. For example, export steps, releasing the good from the custom…
Easing the procedures?
Yes, something like that.
Can you also give us some information about the feed additive sector in Iran?
We are producing probiotics and symbiotics for animal husbandry and poultry in order to prevent disease for these animals. Fortunately, up to now, we have received very good results. For example, in poultry we have received very good results. For example, the productivity has been increased. The rate of the consumption has been reduced whereas the production has been increased. So our products are economically very beneficial for the farmer. We have achieved this through our intense studies. And for the cow, our research in universities shows that our products positively affect the fertilization and the baby cow. It has effects on quality of the milk rather than the quantity of the milk.
For the horse and pets we have very good results as well. Our products are not only additives or supplements, but I can tell you that it is kind of protection of the animals and poultry and chickens.
This was the probiotics part. As for the symbiotics, you know that it is the combination of prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are mostly for immunizing the animals. Prebiotics can also affect the duration of the life. The combination has created most of these aspects. For example, today we have very good results in Iran about the eggs. Because the production has gone up, the safety has gone up. These are the good results from the prebiotics.
From agriculture we have received incredible and essential output. For example, we have conducted five studies under the supervision of Agricultural Ministry. And they put it (product) in the different areas ranging from the Western, Northern parts of Iran and Azerbaijan. The output was incredible. In most regions, the increase in the output was up to forty five per cent when compared with the chemical fertilizer.
You are saying that you are making this comparison with using other chemical fertilizers. This is not a comparison with not using any fertilizer?
Yes, that is what I am saying. Exactly. From the point of agricultural disease, the result was outstanding again. The essential product that we produce has very good effects on tomato. We call it Biolep. We use in turkey. The results were very good. I can say that, because of its resistance with the chemicals, it can replace immediately. Our capacity is also very huge. When I compare with other products I cannot tell that we are much better than them but we are not worse than them.
US SANCTIONS WILL MAKE US
What would you say about today’s Iran feed industry? A lot of people I got in contact with in Iran told me that after the escalated tension between Iran and the US, things will be more difficult in Iran for the foreigners.
We have to look at it in two different ways. One, for the products we do not produce and secondly, for the products we are producing. For the foreigner, the problem is that, with the sanctions, mostly, we cannot transfer the money. This is one thing. Secondly, the products that are producing are no worse than those of Europeans. Today, if you compare the domestic products, we are no worse than them, especially in high-tech products. For this kind of products, when you have the knowledge then you need the instrument. The instrument, we have to import it. If we cannot, we will suffer for some day. But finally we will make it by ourselves.
WE ARE A WEALTHY COUNTRY
So, are you saying that these sanctions will help you increase your self-sufficiency?
Yes, exactly. Today, we are not looking at the world. We are looking at ourselves. Well, we cannot ignore and hide some gaps. We cannot compare ourselves with Germany. But is some aspects, we are at least as good as them. The same happened in Turkey. In the past, nobody would think that Turkey would start producing leather. Then after a while, the Italians went out, because the Turkish people came in. We can do the same in Iran. Or course, we need a certain level of protection from the government. They have to make some wise decisions.
We have no other choice expect for returning to our own products. We should focus on domestic production because nobody has what we have. Let me list our advantages. We do not have any foreign debt. We are the only country which does not have any foreign debt. Secondly, we are the wealthiest country in energy and mines. We have very well educated people. More than 65 percent of the population is educated in Iran. I am not talking about being literate here. They are highly educated; they have gone to the university. We also have very good climate. You cannot find it anywhere else, except for the US. There is no country like this. In Iran, you can experience 40-degree temperature difference in the same day. We have all kinds of energy; solar, wind and also gas. We are the second in the gas and forth in the oil energy in the world. So, we are very wealthy. That means that we have to use this. We have to use our resources.
IN TURKEY, WE ARE ABOUT
THE GET EXPORT APPROVAL
You said that you have enough capacity for 400 million people. However, you are not an exporting country for now. Which countries do you plan to make exports in the first plan?
At the first stage; we want our export our products to Turkey. Recently, we haven’t done yet. But we are in the process of doing this. Today, we are in the process of getting approval from Turkey. After Turkey, we will head towards Russia. I think these two countries will cover 70 percent of our production capacity. If we can go to Russia then we can also go to Kirghizstan and other countries in Central Asia.
ARAB COUNTRIES MOSTLY IMPORT
What about the southerly countries?
Most of the Arab countries, they do not have anything. They usually use the finished products. They are importing their chicken from the UK. Qatar is importing finished goods from Turkey or Iran. Kuwait and Bahrein are importing from the UK. They are importing their meat from New Zealand. So this means that, our products cannot go those places, but the finished products can go.
SHOULD COME CLOSER
Finally, do you want to add anything else before we finish the interview?
Oh, yes. I think the world and the superpowers had decided to divide all developing countries. This is what I understand for Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. It makes no difference. Because they think that our culture will never comply with their culture. For example, look at Turkey. It is more than forth years that they are trying to take Turkey into the European Union. But at any stage, they have created new obstacles against the accession up to now. So, it is because they do not want to do it. So, we have to be together, we have to get closer to each other. We have to solve our problems. Developing countries should act together. And we have this capacity. We have this knowledge. The problem is that, most of our wealthy and knowledgeable people are trying to make their getaway to the West. They are seeking the heaven in the West, which we have to create in our own country. Only through this way, we can prevent the brain drain and emigration of capital.
See what we do. For example, in Iran, to import the probiotics, we are paying our subsidize currency to those who are producing in abroad. Why shouldn’t we use it here, in our country? OK, suppose that our quality is not the same as theirs. But, we can try and we can be better. I hope our country and our people will try their best and create and keep their country as better as they can.