Azerbaijan can increase cotton yield in short period of time
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 27
By Anvar Mammadov- Trend:
Azerbaijan has an opportunity to significantly increase the cotton yield, the former agriculture minister of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Rajab Orujov, told Trend on March 27.
Today, Azerbaijan, using modern technologies and improving the agro-technical base, can significantly increase the cotton yield in short period of time.
"In general, the yield can be increased in two ways - extensive -via expanding the sowing area,- and intensive. Today, Azerbaijan has a potential to increase the yield on all types of agricultural products that present in the country's crop rotation. It should be emphasized that today the cotton yield is at a rather low level in Azerbaijan. The soil and climatic conditions of Azerbaijan allow to receive about 40 centners of a crop per hectare, but in 2017 the yield was 15.2 centners," he said.
Orujov said that to achieve the goal of 40 centners per hectare, a number of important steps must be taken. First of all, according to him, it is necessary to change the attitude to the land fund, since the main cotton areas of the country are located in the Kura-Araz lowland, whose lands are highly exposed to salinization and where ground waters lie close to the surface. Meanwhile, each region needs an individual approach.
After solving these problems, one can think about increasing the yield. Furthermore, it is necessary to regulate the nutrient regime of the soil and to clean the drainage systems of economic and republican importance, which will allow to remove groundwater from the surface. The active temperature in the regions, where cotton production is developed is quite high, which is also favorable for obtaining a high volume of high quality harvest," Orujov said.
The ex-minister also pointed to the use of all types of fertilizers in full as an important step.
"Today macroelements are mainly used in Azerbaijan in the process of soil fertilization. These are mainly nitrogen, and phosphorus has recently been used. It is also necessary to use potassium, as well as microfertilizers during the fertilization process, as well as to strengthen pest control and use high-quality pesticides. The import of new varieties is important. The varieties supplied from Turkey are not adapted to the climatic conditions of Azerbaijan. The harvest does not have time to ripen before the rainy season, so there are difficulties in harvesting. Therefore, it is necessary to import varieties adapted to the climatic conditions of Azerbaijan," the ex-minister said.
Orujov further added that cotton is a strategic product in the crop rotation of Azerbaijan, as it prevents re-salinity of the soil and creates an incentive for the development of other agricultural products.
"Developing cotton growing, we also increase the production potential of other types of agricultural products," Orujov said.
According to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, 207,160 tons of cotton were harvested in Azerbaijan in 2017, which is 2.3 times higher than in 2016. The acreage of cotton last year was 136,410 hectares (an increase of 2.7 times).