Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
The growth rate of agriculture in Azerbaijan, according to the World Bank (WB), reached 48.9 percent, exceeding the global average by 17.1 percent, as a result of realization of state programs in the last 10 years, the Azerbaijani Agriculture Minister Heydar Asadov said.
Asadov was addressing a conference dedicated to the outcomes of the first year of implementation of the "State Program on Socio-economic Development of the Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2014-2018", held under the chairmanship of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
"Whereas during this period the growth of food production [in the world] stood at 18 percent, in our country that figure was 39 percent," he said.
Asadov further noted that the volume of agricultural production in Azerbaijan in 2014 amounted to 5.2 billion AZN, of which 2.8 billion AZN accounted for livestock production.
The minister added that last year Azerbaijan exported vegetables and fruits for a total of $291 million, which is 16.1 percent higher than in 2013.
The import of fruits and vegetables in this period totalled $25.2 million, which is less than in 2013 by 13.5 percent.
Touching upon about the development of animal husbandry in Azerbaijan, Asadov noted that in recent years, against the backdrop of increase in the number of cattle by 21 percent, the growth in meat production was 46.4 percent and the milk production growth stood at 53 percent.
He also said that as a result of lower prices for imported goods in 2014, farmers were able to purchase agricultural machinery by 50 percent cheaper (fertilizers - 30 percent cheaper) than last year.
The minister also spoke about the problems to be resolved.
He particularly highlighted the need for measures to encourage re-seeding in order to further improve the situation in provision of fodder, creation of a seed fund, and revision of the size of the aid related to provision of agricultural producers with fuel and engine oils.
The minister also pointed out the need for making a corresponding decision with regard to the agricultural machinery, which became unusable (if their repair is uneconomical), and taking measures against the land owners who don't use their lands.
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