Azerbaijan, Baku, 22 January / Trend / Trend interview with Azerbaijan's Minister of Agriculture, Ismat Abbasov:
- How do you assess the proposals by the Republic Society of Poultry Farmers to abolish VAT on imported feed?
- Considering that poultry products are still being imported to Azerbaijan, to develop poultry farming and satisfy the demand for poultry products by local production, we consider it expedient to abolish the 18% VAT for imported feed, mixed fodder and equipment. Expenses on feed make up a key part of expenses in poultry farming. It leads to an increase in the prime cost of the product and as a result, the prices for poultry products increase.
- Are agricultural products expected to grow in 2008 in Azerbaijan?
- Due to the AZN 40 from the Public Budget to be granted to agricultural producers for each sowing area, growth is expected to take place in all spheres of agriculture. As a result of stimulation of grain producers, autumn grain sowing areas increased by 141,000 ha compared to 2006. In 2008, 350-360,000 tons of growth in the autumn grain is expected to take place. Considering the requirements of the market, the possibility of processing and export in 2008 compared to 2007, growth is expected to take place in the production of potatoes, vegetables, fruit and grapes. The accounts show that in 2008 milk production may increase by 3%, meat - 5%, poultry meat - 7%, eggs - 9%.
With which countries does Azerbaijan intend to sign agreements on cooperation with in the agrarian sector in 2008-2009?
- The Ministry of Agriculture devised and presented agreements of cooperation for signing with various countries and organizations with regards to agriculture, veterinary care. These countries include Austria, Greece, Japan, Israel, Canada, Hungary, Sweden, Egypt, Russia, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Cuba, Mexico, China, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Belarus and Georgia. A memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed with the European Union.
When will financial assistance, established by the Cabinet of Ministers for stimulating grain production be paid?
- Documents have already been considered and AZN 40 will be paid for each ha of grain areas from the Public budget. A decision was made to pay AZN 20.2mln to 154,330 grain producers in the regions. In December 2007 all documents were sent to the executive powers of the regions in order to be presented to the Ministry of Finance and local branches of Kapital Bank.
I think that this decision is very important to satisfy grain demand in the republic through internal production. In addition, it will motivate grain producers.