By Amina Nazarli
The national company "Azerstar" signed an agreement with two Russian companies on the export of Azerbaijani hazelnuts.
Thus, Azerbaijan will export more hazelnuts to the northern neighbor than it was last year -- $30 million. The agreement was signed within the 26th WorldFood Moscow International Food Exhibition in Moscow.
Currently, Azerbaijan is one of the five leading producers and exporters of hazelnuts along with Turkey, Georgia, Italy and the U.S. Hazel farming, among agricultural products, brings the most currency to the country, with $105 million earned in 2016.
Azerbaijan exports not only hazelnuts in their shells but all types of processed hazelnuts to EU and CIS countries. Nearly 25 countries, including Italy, Germany and Russia are the main consumers of Azerbaijani hazelnuts. In addition, Middle Eastern countries have emerged as potential markets for Azerbaijani hazelnuts.
In 2014, Azerbaijani suppliers managed to take the leading position on hazelnut supplies to Russia bypassing 13 countries, including Turkey, outstripping it by 60 percent. The dynamics of trade showed that in 2015 Azerbaijan and Turkey were almost on par over the export of hazelnut to the Russian market. Thus, deliveries from Azerbaijan amounted to 3,100, and from Turkey – 2,400 tons.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ranks Azerbaijan 4th in the world for the production of hazelnuts. The country produces about 35,000 tons of hazelnut, and 90 percent of this product is exported to foreign countries.
In the coming years the country plans to increase hazelnut gardens from the current 55,000 hectares to 80,000 hectares, as well as expand the geography of hazelnut production, which currently covers 13 regions of the country. The potential of the country is measured by hundreds of thousands of hectares.
Hazelnuts are also produced in Baku, Absheron, Ganja-Gazakh, Sheki-Zagatala, Upper Karabakh, Lankaran, Gabala and other regions of the country.
Azerbaijan’s hazelnut variety "ata-baba" is considered one of the best and most expensive varieties in the world.
Azerbaijan is the partner country of WorldFood Moscow 2017, where the “Made in Azerbaijan” national stand is presented for the first time.
Over 30 companies have been united in one exposition to offer a variety of products: from fresh agricultural products to canned goods, from natural mineral water to various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, teas, nuts, dairy products, pastry and much more.
Visitors will have the opportunity to taste local wines and appreciate the ancient Azerbaijan winemaking tradition. The collective participation of Azerbaijan delegates has been organized by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) with the support of the Economy Ministry.
This year, the WorldFood Moscow Exhibition will be the gathering place for upward of 1,500 Russian and foreign food and beverage suppliers from 64 countries of the world.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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