President Ilham Aliyev: We should consider allocating funds from President’s Contingency Fund for provision of microloans

Politics Materials 17 April 2020 14:40 (UTC +04:00)
President Ilham Aliyev:  We should consider allocating funds from President’s Contingency Fund for provision of microloans

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 17


We should consider allocating funds from the President’s Contingency Fund for the provision of microloans, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev at the meeting on the socio-economic results of the first quarter of 2020 through videoconference, Trend reports.

“There have been positive changes in the field of agriculture in recent years. The E-Agriculture Program is being implemented. The mechanism for the provision of subsidies to farmers has been improved and cards have already been issued. This is a very positive fact. In other words, agriculture must meet modern standards. This being the case, of course, productivity will increase, people working in the village will work. At the same time, we will provide the domestic market and will be able to supply a wider range of products to foreign markets. The main issue related to agriculture is to increase productivity,” said President Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state noted that the Ministry of Agriculture is already working in this direction.

“We can say that the yields of all types of produce are increasing every year. However, we should know that the population is growing as well, and so will domestic consumption. Therefore, agricultural production must develop at a rapid pace so that we can meet the domestic demand and supply our products to external markets. I believe that additional funds should be allocated to resolve the issues you have noted. We should consider allocating funds from the President’s Contingency Fund for the provision of microloans. I believe that 30 million manats can be allocated for this. It is necessary to prepare and submit a draft of the relevant Order to me. What you said about the drought is a very serious matter that causes great concern, as this trend may continue. As you know, there is great concern in the world about climate change,” said President Ilham Aliyev.

He noted that some forecasts suggest that perhaps in 10 or 20 years, even desertification is not ruled out in Azerbaijan.

“Therefore, we already need to prepare for this. Last year’s drought created major problems for us. Even the elderly don’t remember such a drought. Drought is also expected this year. Therefore, the mobilization of our water resources and their rational use are becoming a priority. It is no secret that where there is water, productivity and people's incomes increase. It is for this purpose that several important large-scale projects have been implemented in our country. If the Shamkirchay and Takhtakorpu water reservoirs had not been built in time, the canals had not been laid, then great difficulties could have arisen in the areas that feed on this water. Over the past few years, we have been supplying water to approximately 100,000 hectares of lands. These are lands that were not irrigated at all or were irrigated inadequately. Therefore, in order to continue to meet the needs of agriculture and farmers in this area, it is necessary to draw up a new program,” said President Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state noted that we cannot work with old methods because they are not proving effective.

“Technologies are developing in all areas in the world today, including the field of land reclamation. We can no longer do this work by old-fashioned methods. New technologies must be introduced. I am told that in some places water loss reaches 40-50 percent even though major investments have recently been made in this area. However, the installations built in the old days and most of the infrastructure have decayed and do not allow for the supply of water. In addition, these leaks lead to the salinization of the soil. Therefore, we suffer damage twice here. We should also know that our water resources are not so large. The main sources of water in our country are formed outside our borders. Therefore, every drop of water is important to us. It is necessary to seriously address this issue. We can say that all the water utilities built in the Soviet era are ground-based. We have been building only concrete canals and concreting the ground-based canals built earlier. We are thus preventing the loss of water. However, I believe that we should look further. Developed countries of the world, in particular, countries with the same climate conditions as ours, have gained experience. They have fairly high yields and their experience should be applied to Azerbaijan,” said President Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state believes that in order to achieve serious progress in this area, it is necessary to set up a special commission.

“A commission will be established to deal with the rational use of water resources. I believe that the commission should be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev, since during his work as Minister of Economy he was heavily involved in this issue and regularly reported to me. The commission should include heads of the relevant agencies – the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, the heads of the “Land Reclamation and Water Resources” Joint Stock Company, the “Azersu” Joint Stock Company and other relevant bodies, so that a plan of specific measures can be prepared. We can say that there is material and information available in relation to the analysis. The key question is what we should do, what steps we should take. We should probably also engage foreign specialists to give us good advice. We must appreciate every drop of water,” said President Ilham Aliyev.