25 percent of Iranian red meat is produced by nomads, says the Agricultural Ministry. Iranian nomads, coming from various tribes, mainly live in western and southwestern areas. According to the Ministry, these people annually send 9.5 million livestock to the market.
Nomads in Iran are known as Ashayer. There are more than hundred tribes of Ashayer in Iran. Although, for decades they were used to move to summer highlands and come back to rural settlements for winter time, today very few tribes move up and down.
Until before the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Ashayer made 25 percent of Iranian population, then 2 million people.
However, Reza Shah decided to settle down nomad tribes to be able to have a better control and surveillance on them. Today Ashayer make less than 2 percent of Iranian population.
The Agricultural Ministry of Iran says that to use the most of Ashayer’s capacity, it plans to support animal husbandry among them. Additionally, the Ministry provides renewable energy devices, such as solar powered heating devices.
Iranian nomads, due to their traditional way of living, are particularly good in medicinal herbs. The Ministry plans to increase cultivation lands allocated to medicinal herbs by nomads up to 10.2 thousand hectares by 2022, from today’s 6.1 thousand hectares.