Ministry: agro-parks to increase country's GDP
By Sara Israfilbayova
The National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES) has allocated 98.6 million manats ($58 million) for the establishment of the agro-parks so far, Samir Valiyev, Head of Administration of the Ministry of Economy told Azernews.
Valiyev added that currently, creation of 42 agro-parks in 28 regions of the country is underway.
"Work on the first stage in Khachmaz, Shamkir and Jalilabad regions has already been completed," he said. "Currently, construction and installation work is underway in 16 agro-parks, and in 23 agro-parks preparatory work is being implemented. The geographic location of the agro-parks covers all the economic regions of the country."
With regard to the role of agro-parks in promoting the country’s economy the Ministry said that they are of particular importance for ensuring food security, developing entrepreneurship in the agrarian sector, increasing the competitiveness of agricultural products, expanding the export potential and increasing employment.
"The introduction of modern technologies in agro-parks will create favorable conditions for the production of competitive agricultural and food products. All this will contribute to the development of the regions as a whole. Moreover, the creation of agro-parks will provide facilities to meet the demand for raw materials in such sectors as horticulture, poultry and livestock. Import of food products will be reduced, while export opportunities for agricultural products will be expanded," he said.
Agro-parks are also important for the creation of national brands, development of innovative skills of small and medium-sized farmers, formation of a single integrated system in the field of agriculture, as well as the training of personnel in the agrarian sector, according to the head of administration.
The agro-parks will allow to switch from individual entrepreneurship to large-scale agricultural production and ensure stable and reliable access to foreign markets.
"As soon as agro-parks are fully put into operation, products worth hundreds of millions of manats will be produced. These products will be export-oriented and thus, will stimulate the growth of gross domestic product (GDP)," Valiyev explained.
In conclusion the Ministry mentioned that the establishment of agro-parks is carried out by business entities and any individual or legal entity can create an agro-park.
Main purpose of the establishment of such parks in the country, which is keen to diversify its economy on the basis of further development of the non-oil sector, are the creation of favorable conditions for further development of the agricultural sector, provision of support to entrepreneurs, and increasing employment opportunities of population in the sphere.
Besides the agro-parks, industrial zones are being created in the country's Neftchala, Hajigabul, Masalli and Sabirabad regions.
In addition to industrial zones, five industrial parks have been established in the country: the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, Balakhani, Garadagh, Mingachevir and Pirallahi Industrial Parks.
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