Azerbaijan's CAERC: Focus on developing agricultural sector to increase food security

Azerbaijan's CAERC: Focus on developing agricultural sector to increase food security

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Apr. 17

By Fidan Babayeva - Trend:

Azerbaijan’s Cabinet of Ministers approved Instruction on the movement of people working in the agricultural sector, Deputy Executive Director of Azerbaijan's Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication Ramil Huseyn said, Trend reports.

According to him, this guideline sets the rules regarding the actions of persons involved in the production, processing and sale of agricultural products during the period of special quarantine regime. Consequently, work is underway in the agricultural sector to ensure the continuity of production.

"Moreover, according to the decree of the head of state, it is important to allocate 30 million manat [$17.6 million] to the Agency for Agricultural Lending and Development to issue interest-free microloans in the agricultural sector. They will be aimed at covering production costs and the needs of agricultural producers during the pandemic and consequent period," he said.

Huseyn emphasized that in the conditions of a pandemic or any emergency, the creation of the State Grain Fund is a timely solution to ensure the food security.

“On the other hand, Azerbaijan also imports part of food wheat from Russia and Kazakhstan. As for potatoes, the available resources of our country are quite enough to meet demand. The situation with the production of onions and other vegetables is also under control,” the deputy director noted.

"The volume of actual sugar reserves in our country, according to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, is 395,000 tons, which indicates there will be no problems with paying for domestic consumption in the coming months," he said.

According to Huseyn, in January-February 2020, 7,800 tons of rice were imported into Azerbaijan. Currently, rice stocks are sufficient to meet the demand for about five months, whilst meeting of demand for meat and dairy products is ensured mainly through the local production. Work is also underway to provide the population with other food products.

As a part of the Action Plan for the implementation of the president’s decree on a number of measures to reduce the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic dated March 19, 2020, the issue of early VAT-exemption of imports of certain products required for the population’s food and medical needs will be considered.

He also said that the setup of a commission to ensure the efficient use of water resources will contribute to the development of agriculture.

“The choice of the development of agriculture and processing industry as the main priority of the state economic policy will assist in the growth of local production and increase of the food security and import substitution level,” the deputy director added.

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