Agriculture in Azerbaijan (January-May 2015)

Weather conditions create an opportunity to gather rich harvest of grain in 2015. Experts believe that the volume of grain harvest will increase by 20-30 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilham Guliyev said.

He made the remarks during the press conference dedicated to the 21st Azerbaijan International Food Industry Exhibition and 9th Azerbaijan International Agriculture Exhibition.

Guliyev said that the ministry is fully ready for harvesting grains. "We plan to complete the harvesting qualitatively, operatively and without losses. We have all conditions to bring the latest grain harvesters to Azerbaijan."

Guliyev said that farmers lost part of their crop due to the drought in 2014 and in order to partly compensate this loss, the ministry provided the farmers with seeds free of charge with its own funds.

Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture also presented the government the proposals on improving the subsidization mechanisms.

Ilham Guliyev said that the proposals are mainly related to the procedure of issuing subsidies.

"State subsidies to the agrarian sector will be unified as one annual subsidy," he said. "This will allow to ensure the efficiency and transparency of this process."

The deputy minister emphasized the growing support of the state to the agrarian sector and talked about the work done in this sphere.

"State support to the agricultural sector is growing rapidly in recent times. Azerbaijani president's orders to offer 40-percent benefits when buying sets of irrigation systems and equipment, to provide 25-percent increase in the volume of aid allocated from the state budget for the purchase of fuel and motor oil, used by manufacturers of agricultural products in the cultivation of each hectare of sown areas pay a very important role."

"Moreover, 30-40 percent of the cost of productive seeds grown in the research institutes is paid by the state," he said. "Farmers purchase fuel with 50-percent discount, while fertilizers with 50-75 percent discount."

"I believe that all these measures will promote rapid development of the agricultural sector," Guliyev added.

Subsidies have been offered to farmers in Azerbaijan since 2007.

In accordance with the law "On issuance of tax benefits to agricultural producers" dated Nov.27, 2001, agricultural producers in Azerbaijan are exempt from all taxes except for the land taxes.

The production volume of agricultural products in Azerbaijan at actual prices increased by 4.1 percent in Jan.-May 2015, compared to the same period of 2014 and totaled 1.29 billion Azerbaijani manats.

During the reporting period, the output of products in livestock breeding and plant cultivation increased by 3.3 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively, according to the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan.

Plant cultivation

An area of 349,900 hectares was sown in Azerbaijan as of June 1, 2015 which is by 2.16 percent more than in the same period of 2014.

This is while ​​83,000 hectares of the total cultivated area accounted for the perennial plants, 60,600 hectares - potatoes, 75,100 hectares - vegetables, 62,500 hectares - cereals and legumes, 18,300 hectares - cotton, 27,200 hectares - horticultural plants, 9,900 hectares - sunflower, 4,900 hectares - sugar beet, 1,300 hectares - tobacco, 3,400 hectares - annual plants.

The harvesting of the main plant products continues in the country. The country harvested 56,700 metric tons of potatoes, 86,800 metric tons of vegetables, 9,700 metric tons of fruits and berries, 251.8 metric tons of tea as of June 1, 2015, or 7.8, 11.5, 13.7 and 14.2 percent more, respectively compared to the same period of 2014.

Cattle breeding

During the reporting period, the production of meat in live weight hit 178,900 metric tons in Azerbaijan, milk - 786,100 metric tons, wool - 12,900 metric tons and eggs - 658.8 million.

Meat production in the country during the reporting period, increased by 2.4 percent, milk - 4.4 percent, eggs - 3.2 percent and wool - 2.1 percent compared to Jan.-May 2014.

Output of main products in livestock breeding, 1,000 metric tons:

Products

2015

2014

Meat (in live weight)

178.9

174.7

Milk

786.1

753.0

Eggs (million)

658.8

638.1

Source: State Statistical Committee

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