Major rice producer in Azerbaijan plans to enter Middle East markets
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
By Sara Israfilbayova - Trend:
Astarachay, an Azerbaijani company, is holding negotiations to supply rice to the UAE, Deputy Director of the company Etibar Salimov told Trend on Jan. 25.
Foreign companies show interest in Azerbaijani rice, since it is organic, he said.
Astarachay produces tea, fruit and rice. The company produces rice under the brand "Astara Duyu".
Despite the fact that Astarachay, as the largest rice producer in Azerbaijan, helps and supports other rice producers in every possible way, domestic products meet only 10 percent of the demand at the local market, Salimov said.
"This is primarily due to the problems related to product distribution through local retail chains," he added.
Commenting on the production volume of Astarachay, the deputy director noted that rice production of the company reached 1,000 tons in 2018, and in 2019 the production is expected to hit 1500 tons.
Rice growing in Azerbaijan is divided into three zones. The first is Lankaran-Masalli, the second is Shaki-Zagatala and the third is Guba-Khachmaz. The country's annual demand for rice is currently estimated at 40,000 tons, which is mainly covered by imports.
According to the government forecasts, in 2025, the planted area should be increased to 10,000 hectares and the harvest to 40,000 tons. Thus, the rice harvest should increase 2.5 times in 2025 compared to 2017.
In 2016, rice production in Azerbaijan amounted to 5,600 tons and the planted area reached 2,500 hectares.
In 2017, the planted area was increased to 5,100 hectares and the harvest amounted to 15,900 tons with an average yield of 31.1 centners per hectare.
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