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In the News

2015 declared Year of Agriculture

azernews.az

January 14, 2015

By Aynur Karimova

President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree declaring 2015 as the Year of Agriculture in the country.

Azerbaijan’s Agriculture Ministry, together with the Cabinet of Ministers, was instructed to prepare an action plan and submit it to the president.

The agricultural sector is important not only for increasing Azerbaijan's export potential, but also for restoring and protecting the country's food security. Protecting the quality and price of food stuff produced in Azerbaijan and producing them in accordance with quality standards are among the main priorities of the country's food security plan.

Through local production, Azerbaijan is meeting the population's demands for meat products by 90 percent, for poultry meat by 81 percent, eggs by 80 percent, dairy products by 75 percent, vegetable oil by 65 percent, and butter by 50 percent.

In general, the country has experienced strong growth in terms of agricultural development in the last ten years.

Over the past ten days, as a result of measures adopted in Azerbaijan to ensure food security, the production of husbandry goods has increased by 3.1 times, cattle-breeding by 3.4 times, meat production by 1.6 times, and grain production by 1.4 times.

As a result of agrarian reforms carried out in Azerbaijan, the guarantees were made for the dynamic development of agriculture. Thus, the agricultural sector greatly was changed, the new economic and property relations were formulated and the regulatory framework was improved.

Strengthening of the state support for agricultural development, determining strategic objectives and institutional changes in the spheres corresponding to the new challenges laid the foundation for the transition of this sphere to a qualitatively new level. The modern agrarian parks and large farms are established in the country to ensure food security of the population and to increase the export potential of the agrarian sector.

Commissioning of the Shamkirchay and Tahtakorpu reservoirs creates conditions for involving new land plots in crop rotation and preservation of soil fertility.

The state has set a number of benefits for farmers. That is, the producers of agricultural products were exempt from taxes other than for land. Farmers and entrepreneurs have an opportunity to receive loans and seeds on favorable terms.

The state allocates subsidies for fuel used in cultivation of sown areas.

Azerbaijan has also established logistics centers in the country and abroad for ensuring the storage, transportation, export and sale of agricultural products.

The total volume of production of agricultural goods has increased by 3.4 times in Azerbaijan over the past ten years.

The volume of investment made in Azerbaijan's agriculture in the mentioned period increased by 15 times, and the average monthly wage of workers of this sector boosted by 9 times.

After restoration of state independence, the level of self sufficiency of meat and dairy products amounted to 30-35 percent in Azerbaijan, currently, this figure is 92 percent and 76 percent, respectively.

President Aliyev pays special attention to the development of agriculture in the country.

“One of the items on our agenda relates to the growth of our export potential because I am sure that in the near future we will provide ourselves with all basic foodstuffs. Thus, we will have new products to export. If we consider the fact that we are already in the process of setting up about 20 large farms, I am sure that we will be able to fully provide ourselves with wheat in the near future,” he said at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development in 2014 and objectives for 2015 last week.

It is believed that 2015 is declared as the Year of Agriculture in Azerbaijan with a purpose to give a new momentum to the development of agriculture, to accelerate its modernization and to ensure a systematic and comprehensive approach to solving existing problems in the agrarian sector for an effective involvement of administrative and financial resources in this area, and wide promotion of the agrarian potential of the country.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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