Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 19 /Trend, A.Akhundov/
There is a need to increase the loan resources for the agriculture in Azerbaijan, said Agriculture Minister of Azerbaijan
"To resolve the issue, it is projected to annually increase the funds allocated from the state budget and as part of various projects by 20-25 percent," said Abbasov in an interview published in the magazine of Azerbaijani-Turkish Businessmen Association (ATİB).
He said Azerbaijan continues implementing WB Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project (AzRIP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project for development of mountainous and high mountainous regions, project for north-east development, project for north-west rural development. A total of $196.5 million loans have been allocated for agricultural producers within these projects.
The loan agreement on the AzRIP project was signed on Sept. 23 in 2004 and took effect on Dec. 29 the same year. The project costs $21.1 million. A total of $15 million falls to a loan from the International Development Association, $3.3 million to a grant from the Japanese government and the remaining sum -- $1.250 million -- to the Azerbaijani government. The Azerbaijani government and WB signed a loan agreement worth $21.5 million on extra financing for the AzRIP in April.
Since 1997, IFAD has implemented a number of programs in the field of agricultural development in Azerbaijan. The total investments of IFAD in Azerbaijan amount to $87 million.
The minister said that in 2010 Aqrokredit credit institution allocated $7.5 million to 652 business entities in line with crediting for rural areas.
In 2005-2010, the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Development of the Ministry of Economic Development provided loans worth $274.4 million for 7,449 business entities, representing the sector of production and processing of agricultural products.
"Calculations show that if the average amount of loan issued for economic entities in 2005 was $13,200, in 2010 it reached $54,800," said Abbasov.
He said in 2007-2011, the State Agency for Agricultural Credits under the Agriculture Ministry provided 46.1 million manat loans to 1,376 physical and legal entities in 53 regions.
Official exchange rate on Aug. 19 is 0.7863 AZN/USD.