BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28. Public discussions were organized on the 'Agribusiness: new opportunities and modern challenges' topic with the help of the Public Council under the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBDA), the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Organizations of Azerbaijan, Trend reports citing SMBDA.
Representatives of public and private structures, business associations working in the agricultural sector attended the event.
Minister of Agriculture of Azerbaijan Inam Karimov stressed that creating an even more favorable environment for the development of agribusiness in the country is one of the priorities of the social and economic development policy pursued under the leadership of the Head of state. New economic and environmental challenges have arisen in the world, including climate change, and the goal is to constantly maintain a new and modern agribusiness environment in accordance with new challenges.
He noted the importance of such public discussions in terms of studying international and local experience, the current situation, opportunities, as well as methods and means to overcome emerging difficulties by bringing together the parties that play a role in the development of agribusiness. He also informed about the support measures implemented in the areas of agribusiness.
President of the National Confederation of Organizations of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of Azerbaijan Mammad Musayev noted that 35 percent of the employed population works in agriculture. Loans were allocated to agriculture in the total amount of 598.8 million manat ($352.2 million), which is 3.1 percent of the total volume of loan investments. However, the level of lending in this area isn't satisfactory. Businessmen involved in this area offer to improve the insurance mechanism for lending, which can also help to achieve a solution to the collateral problem.
Chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Agency for SME Development Orkhan Mammadov informed about the support mechanisms aimed at the creation and development of the agency's activities in the field of agribusiness, shared his opinion on the development of business in the areas of production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, as well as on the problems faced by business entities and made a number of suggestions.
He said that insufficient application of the agricultural insurance mechanism, difficulties associated with irrigation water, insufficient access to quality advisory services in the field of agronomy, the need to improve subsidies and other financing mechanisms, difficulties with the documentation procedure in the field of food security, depreciation of technological equipment, access to markets, etc. are the main issues that concern entrepreneurs working in the agricultural sector.
Chairman of the Public Council under SMBDA Farhad Garashev stated that public discussions on priority topics will continue in the coming months with the organization of the Public Council and with the participation of small and medium-sized businesses operating in various sectors of the economy, relevant government agencies and civil society institutions.
At the event, the proposals of entrepreneurs on the development of the industry and the difficulties they face were listened to, then representatives of the relevant state structures answered the entrepreneurs' questions.