BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 8
By Eldar Janashvili - Trend:
The beginning of 2020 in the Azerbaijani agricultural sector stayed in people’s memory by the establishment of the Azerbaijan Ecotourism Association to popularize the tourism sector in the country and promote its image on the international market as a country with developed ecotourism, Trend reports referring to the Association.
The restoration of about 40 kahriz water supply systems in Aghdam, Aghjabadi, Barda, Fizuli, Gazakh, Goranboy and Goygol districts, as well as in Ganja, where internally displaced people compactly live, was launched on January 17 within the project entitled "Integrated Rural Development for Internally Displaced People through Revitalization of the Kahriz Water Supply System in Azerbaijan", through the financial support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
At the end of the month, the Genetic Resources Institute of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences introduced new high-yielding varieties of wheat, barley and peas, namely Maya durum wheat, Start soft wheat, Jamil multi-row barley, Jamilya pea and Ayla cowpea.
A conference chaired by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dedicated to the results of the first year of the implementation of the State program on socio-economic development of the regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2019-2023 was held in early February.
During the conference, the president called for accelerating the creation of agricultural parks and the development of the processing sector in the agricultural sector.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan began to grow four new varieties of potatoes, more resistant to drought and as qualitative as foreign varieties. This indirectly affected the consideration of the issue related to the termination of import of potatoes in Azerbaijan after eliminating the shortage of storage facilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has penetrated into Azerbaijan has generated rumors among the population about the possible food shortage in the country as a result of the closure of all borders.
However, Spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture Vugar Huseynov and Chairman of the Agro Research Center under the Ministry of Agriculture Firdovsi Fikretzade informed the public that there is not any shortage of meat and grain products in Azerbaijan.
Director of the Agrarian Science and Innovation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture Imran Jumshudov confirmed that food reserves are so huge that even in the worst-case scenario, there still will be excess products in the country at the end of the year.
The Azerbaijani Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication previously stressed that the achievement of intensive development in the application of progressive methods and innovations stipulated the growth in the agricultural sector and played an important role in the growth of export of non-oil products and import substitution.
"The level of self-sufficiency in main foodstuffs in Azerbaijan is increasing every year and currently, our country ranks 53rd in the Global Food Security Index," the Center said.
Key meetings and contracts
The fifth meeting of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Italy was held in Rome on January 14. The commission's agenda also included the issues of cooperation between the two countries in the field of agriculture. Similar issues were discussed at the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Hungarian foreign ministers on February 10.
During the business meeting of the Azerbaijan-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry on January 24, Executive Director of the Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication Vusal Gasimli offered the participants to expand the export of the non-oil products to France including hazelnuts, fruits, vegetables, dates, wine and other agricultural products.
In February, Baku hosted a seminar of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) cooperation program with Azerbaijan, dedicated to an increase in the number of women employed in the Azerbaijani agricultural sector.
The purpose of the seminar was to improve the situation in which women who make up half of the country's population are present in the market much less than men due to lack of resources to realize their economic potential. At the same time, about 70 percent of women employed in the country live in rural areas.
In early March, Turkey and Azerbaijan, one of the most important players in the production of hazelnuts with a total share up to 80 percent, agreed on cooperation in the export of these products to the world markets. Hazelnuts worth $125 million were exported from Azerbaijan in 2019.
A meeting was held between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in an expanded format with the participation of the countries' delegations on March 11. The sides exchanged the views on cooperation in the field of agriculture.
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