Azerbaijan needs to increase sugar beet cultivation area
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 7 / Trend N.Ismayilova /
The sugar beet cultivation area must be increased to 20,000 hectares in Azerbaijan to meet the demand for raw materials for sugar production, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bahram Aliyev told Trend.
"Increased sugar beet production is one of our objectives. As you know, several regions in the Imishli area are engaged in sugar beet production, which is then sent for processing to the Imishli sugar plant," Aliyev said.
However, je said, the acreage of sugar beet cultivation should be brought up to 20,000 hectares to fully cover the domestic demand in Azerbaijan.
"A second plant for the processing of sugar beets might be constructed in the country, but grain also remains a priority area for us today," he said.
Aliyev stressed that currently the sugar beet cultivation area in the country is 10-12,000 hectares.
The majority of raw material for sugar production in Azerbaijan is imported into the country from abroad, but some sugar is made by processing the sugar beets grown in the country. The Imishli plant signed a contract with 3,000 landowners engaged in sugar beet production in 2009.
Currently, the sugar produced at the factory ensures domestic needs. The company also exports sugar to Central Asia. The competitiveness of its products is important for the plant. Its products are exported to Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine and Iraq.
World sugar prices reached a high in late 2010. The British newspaper Financial Times predicts that there will be further price increases in 2011. The Financial Times noted unfavorable weather conditions in Brazil as a main factor that will lead to the price hike.