Azerbaijan Strengthens Control over Development of Wine-Making in Country

Business Materials 29 October 2008 11:06 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 October / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / Municipalities, consumers and non-government organizations in Azerbaijan have been deprived of functions to supervise over quality of wine-making production, which is envisaged in changes to Law on Viticulture and wine-making, adopted at a plenary meeting of Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani Parliament).

Agrarian sector is priority direction in development of non-oil field of economy and only state should supervise over viticulture, Eldar Ibrahimov, the head of the Parliamentary Commission for agrarian policy. A new version of the law expands directions of state policy in the field of viticulture and wine-making, as well.

Investments, long-term loans and unpaid subsidies will be involved to stimulate manufacture of qualitative wine-making production with geographical names, to grow stable grapes sort and to increase the regionalized sorts of grapes.

Wine making was strongly developed in Azerbaijan in 1980s and 2mln tons of grapes were produced in the country. However, this sector was severely damaged during the Soviet period within the framework of a program on struggle with alcoholism. As a result, if in 1980s specific weight of agriculture in the GDP amounted to 35% with 24% part of viticulture and wine making at the GDP, part of agrarian sector made up 6.9% in 2007.

At present about 40 plants have license to be engaged in wine production and four or five of them - in vodka production. Plants for wine production are preferred, because these companies' productions meet with international standards.

About 1.6mln decalitres of vodka and 70,000 decalitres of wine were produced in Azerbaijan in 2007. Azerbaijan imported about 150,000 decalitres of vodka.

Mostly, vodka is used in Azerbaijan and its need makes up 2mln decalitres a year. At present Azerbaijan imports vodka, basically, from Russia, Belarus, as well as, Ukraine and wine - from Europe. Meanwhile, currently the Azerbaijani enterprises can fully cover need in alcohol production of not only Azerbaijan. But also ten more countries. Therefore, it is necessary for the country to restrict import of this production, representatives of the Ministry believe.

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