Degraded, unusable lands in Azerbaijan to be rehabilitated

Economy Materials 1 February 2021 17:51 (UTC +04:00)
Degraded, unusable lands in Azerbaijan to be rehabilitated

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.1


A lump-sum subsidy for planting intensive pomegranate and olive orchards is intended for the rehabilitation of degraded and unusable lands, a source in the Ministry of Agriculture told Trend on Feb.1.

In order to return degraded or low-value lands to the crop circulation, the state will provide a lump-sum subsidy for pomegranate and olive orchards planted on these plots in 2021, the source noted.

By the decision of the Council on Agricultural Subsidies, 5,000 manat ($2,940) will be paid for intensive pomegranate orchards per hectare, and 4,900 manat ($2,880) - for intensive olive orchards per hectare.

According to the ministry, a farmer can receive a lump-sum subsidy for planting a new orchard in the case of creating intensive pomegranate and olive orchards on degraded or low-productive lands. During the provision of a lump-sum planting subsidy, applications for areas with a high soil salinity level will be taken into account on the basis of a land-use document. Another type of subsidy - for low-productive lands - will be issued to farmers who will create gardens on plots with a productivity class below 20. This type of subsidies won’t cover lands that will be indicated as agricultural in the land-use document, as well as with other purposes.

The farmers can apply from February 1 through May 31, 2021, for receiving the lump-sum subsidy. To this end, the farmer must register with the Electronic Agriculture Information System (EAIS), enter the coordinates of the land plot into the system, which will later be examined through the GIS system.

The main conditions for receiving the lump-sum subsidy are the creation of an orchard in 2021, planting of seedlings in accordance with the gardening rules during the monitoring period, and installation of a drip irrigation system. For orchards not meeting the above conditions, only a sowing grant will be issued instead of the lump-sum subsidies.

Thus, the owners of the orchards, along with the lump-sum subsidies will receive a planting subsidy in the amount of 700 manat ($412) per hectare for the first 4 years. In four years, these farmers, as well as the owners of ordinary gardens, will receive subsidies in the amount of 240 manat ($141.18) per hectare. The lump-sum subsidy will be transferred to the Farmer's Card upon approval of the application. Most (75 percent) of the funds will be spent on the purchase of seedlings for these gardens, fertilizers, and pesticides, or on payment of funds previously employed for these purposes. The remaining 25 percent can be cashed by the farmer and used for other expenses (agricultural services, and others)

The ministry reminded that since 2020, farmers have been applying for subsidies online through the electronic agriculture information system, and subsidies are transferred to the Farmer's Card.

(1 USD = 1.7 AZN on Feb.1)