Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan reached serious success in addressing food security (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 15:38)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 26
Azerbaijan has made significant progress in addressing food security issues, President Ilham Aliyev said.
He made the remarks addressing a republican conference on development of cotton-growing in Barda District on March 26.
"In the main areas that determine food security, today Azerbaijan either fully provides itself or is very close to this target. Azerbaijan provides itself with meat by almost 100 percent. Production of milk stands at approximately 80-85 percent. Production of chicken meat will reach 100 percent and big export potential will be created in the next year or two. As for production of eggs, currently, we not only provide ourselves, but also export. In other words, these are priority areas,” President Aliyev noted.
Touching upon industrial crops, the president said they were left unheeded, adding there were a number of reasons for this.
"One of the reasons was related to the belief that farmers themselves know what to plant and grow. This sphere was not given much state support. As for private companies that were engaged in cotton-growing, they did not exert the necessary effort, did not pay proper attention to cotton production, did not invest the proper amounts, and cotton-growing was gradually destroyed in Azerbaijan,” the president noted.
“It is enough to look at the statistical indexes: 2015 was the most aggrieving year in the history of cotton-growing. Cotton was planted only on 18,000 hectares and only 35,000 tons of cotton were harvested,” the head of state added.
“We have been seriously engaged in this issue since late 2015. As I noted, meetings were held in 2016-2017. The State Program on the development of cotton-growing was adopted in 2017, and we began to systematically deal with these issues and today we can talk about excellent indicators. Cotton harvest increased from 35,000 to 207,000 tons within two years. In other words, we were able to increase the cotton-picking by six times, and this is not the limit. Today we will talk about the future work to boost the cotton-growing,” the president said.
The head of state noted that Azerbaijan purchased almost 500 cotton harvesters through the state support.
Speaking about tractors produced in Azerbaijan, as well as foreign machinery, trailers, the president said that recently, he got acquainted with a part of them in Barda District.
“Big funds are allocated for these purposes. The supply of fertilizers improves. It can be noted that the Azerbaijani state undertook this field as well – fertilizers are provided with 70-percent benefits. Despite the success achieved in this field, we must work even more seriously. The quality of fertilizers should be even better, and much attention is also attached to this area,” President Aliyev added.
The head of state emphasized that major projects in the field of land reclamation have been implemented in recent years. Tens of thousands of hectares of land were covered by land reclamation measures, he said.
“Meanwhile, very big amounts of money were used for this sphere and other complex measures were taken in Barda and other districts. A centralized management system was created for the development of cotton-growing. The presidential administration, local executive authorities, companies, farmers, workers have achieved good results. The figures reached within two years are the best indicators,” President Aliyev added.