Agriculture of Azerbaijan (January-May 2011)

In May, Azerbaijani President signed an order to establish a special commission to improve the management of the agrarian sector and the development of agricultural science. Under the order, the commission will act under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizaded.

Commission has been charged to within two months prepare for the President of Azerbaijan the proposals on improvement of management in the agricultural sector and development of agricultural science. The Cabinet of Ministers is to resolve the issues arising from the order.

The establishment of the commission is based on the fact that for the continuation of the agrarian reforms, it was necessary to improve management in the agricultural sector and the effectiveness of the relevant research institutions, as well as other relevant institutions, aimed at the reorganization of agricultural science.

Despite the advances in the agriculture of Azerbaijan, still there are a number of problems hindering the intensive development of this sector, the Agriculture Minister of Azerbaijan Ismat Abasov said. "The main problem is the violation of fertility, salinization, soil erosion, desertification, land pollution and other degradation processes. As a result, irrigated land has deteriorated sharply. Many cultivated and irrigated areas require ameliorative measures. Saline lands in an area of 500,000 hectares in Kura-Araz lowland must be washed," said Abasov.

The minister said 85-90 percent of agricultural production in the country is produced in irrigated areas. "Such profitable plants as cotton, tobacco, vegetables and others are totally and completely grown on irrigated lands. The fact that 78 percent of the areas used for crops require irrigation makes it necessary to use modern techniques and technologies that economize on water, and increases the urgency of this issue on the backdrop of global climate change," said Abasov.

Given that 188,400 hectares of sown areas of Azerbaijan are under occupation, and the fertility of agricultural land has violated and other issues, the cases of use of acreage for other purposes must be prevented and adequate measures must be taken in connection with such cases.

While in the country the irrigation of crops requires averagely 11.9 billion cubic meters of water per year, in dry years, water reserves account for only 5.5 billion cubic meters, which does not meet the water needs of crops. The situation is worsened by the loss of 30-35 percent of the water because of the low efficiency of channels.

As a result of the fact that the former collective and state farms and other agricultural institutions did not conduct the appropriate repair and reconstruction work in the inter-farm networks and ceased to exist as a result of the elimination of collective farming, their equipment and channels came to useless condition, which led to an increase in water loss in the system and a risk of salinization of land at these areas.

The minister said a solution of these problems, sustainable development of agriculture in all regions of the country, improving the water security for obtaining high yields in the irrigated crop areas, restoring drainage systems and irrigation canals, digging new artesian wells and repairing existing ones, increasing investments in this industry, as well as implementing other necessary measures will enable to make a decisive turn in the development of the agricultural sector.

According to State Statistics Committee, in January-May 2011, agricultural production in Azerbaijan increased by 5.3 percent, including crop production - by 5.7 percent, livestock production - 5.3 percent compared to the same period of last yea r. In January-May, the total amount of agricultural products was 940.9 million manat.

The spring field activities are nearing completion, and as of June 1, in spring sowing was conducted in the area of ​​376,300 hectares. Compared with the previous year, the crop area increased by 6.7 percent or 23,800 hectares.

Sowing of spring plants in 2011, ha

2011

2010

2011/2010, %

Total sowing

376313

352545

106,7

Including -

grain

28330

28148

100,6

Grain

253

186

135,8

Oats

1609

1463

110,0

Brown rice from the husk

1628

1575

103,4

Corn

32545

29827

109,1

Sunflower

10219

8305

123,0

Sugar beet

7241

8252

87,7

Cotton

41858

27400

152,8

Potatoes

63972

63932

100,1

Tobacco

1339

1291

103,7

Vegetables

77338

78098

99,0

Melon and water melon

31035

30660

101,2

One-year plants

3325

2175

152,9

Many-year plants

75118

71324

105,3

Rhizocarpous

260

178

146,1

Source: State Statistics Committee

Currently the available grain reserves of 1.3 million tons fully meet the needs of Azerbaijan, according to the Agriculture Ministry of Azerbaijan. Of this volume, one million tons left from the last year, and 300,000 tons were imported in the current year. This year, the country's projected production is 2.5 million tons of grain. Azerbaijan imports grain from Kazakhstan only.

In the field of livestock in the January-May, there were produced 167,500 tons of meat, 652,500 tons of milk, 441.2 million units of chicken eggs, 12 tons of wool.

Meat production in January-May compared to same period in 2010 increased by 5.6 percent, milk - by 8.4 percent, and wool - by 11.8 percent, but eggs - declined by 13.3 percent.

Production of cattle-breeding (in ths tons)

Products

2011

2010

Compared to 2010, %

Meat (alive)

167,5

158,5

105,6

Milk

652,5

601,9

108,4

Egg

441,2

508,6

86,7

Meat (alive)

12,0

10,7

111,8

Source: State Statistics Committee

According to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decree, the Agriculture Ministry is entrusted to create large farms to increase the efficiency of measures carried out in the agrarian sector.

In this regard, initially it is planned to establish large farms in an area of 100,000 hectares in low-lying irrigated regions of the country, the State Committee for Land and Cartography is working to check the efficiency of these lands.

According to State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, in January-May 2011, the total production and services in the forestry sphere of the country amounted to 399,500 and fishing - 59,100 manat.

Factual prices of the products of the agricultural, forestry, fishery and hunting economies in Azerbaijan, in ths manat

2011

2010

In total, including

941314,2

789229,0

Agriculture

940855,6

788614,4

Forestry

399,5

556,2

Fishery

59,1

58,4

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