By Narmina Mammadova
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy in Azerbaijan - a country that is considered to be one of the earliest sites of human agricultural activity.
The fertile lands, abundance of water and climatic diversity create favorable foundation for ever-strengthening agrosector. Presence of nine climatic zones allows the country to produce a variety of agricultural products and brings about new opportunities for coming up with different types of goods.
As one of the leading agro-food producers in the whole CIS, Azerbaijan seeks to further develop its agriculture and food industry for import substitution purposes in parallel with enhancement of export capabilities.
Azerbaijan has 4.8 million hectares of agricultural land, which comprises over 50 percent of its total territory, of which 39.6 percent is arable. Meanwhile, the food-processing sector constitutes an important component of the national economy and accounts for over 38 percent of total manufacturing industry.
The revival of agriculture sector plays an important role in the development of rural regions, where 47 percent of Azerbaijan’s population lives.
Therefore, the government has targeted agriculture as one of the priority areas of diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy and is constantly implementing various successful projects in this field.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture has launched a project to create greenhouses within the framework of a joint project with the World Bank (WB), the second phase of Azerbaijan Rural Investments (AzRIP), the agency said.
The project also involves the State Service for Agricultural Projects and Credit Management.
A greenhouse created in the village of Yeni Dashkand of the Barda region was commissioned as part of the project. The ceremony, held on this occasion, was attended by representatives of the State Service, the Executive Authority of the Barda region, the chairmen of the municipality and residents of the villages where AzRIP is implemented.
The head of the State Service for Agricultural Projects and Credit Management, Mirza Aliyev, noted that the project to create greenhouses was selected based on the results of an analysis conducted by members of the rural community. The project is managed by community members, and they will distribute the received income among themselves. Six members of the community will be recruited for permanent jobs, and nine for seasonal work.
Greenhouse was built on a plot of 40 acres. The area of covered soil suitable for sowing is 25 acres. Since October, 9,000 tomatoes have been produced in the greenhouse. From February to May it is planned to increase the sale of products.
The second phase of the AzRIP project has been implemented in Azerbaijan since 2012. This project was created on the basis of the results of the first phase, which contributed to an increase in the incomes of 600,000 farmers, improvement of irrigation services for 700,000 people. The project covers five main zones - flat Shirvan, Mugan-Salyan, Nakhchivan, northern and north-western zones.
Regardless of geographic location, the majority of greenhouse cultivation systems in Azerbaijan consists of fundamental climate control components. Additionally, they can provide a greater or lesser amount of climate control, and subsequent plant growth and productivity depending on their design and complexity.
Founded in 1944, the WB activity touches nearly every sector that is important to fighting poverty, supporting economic growth, and ensuring sustainable gains in the quality of people’s lives in developing countries.
Azerbaijan joined the World Bank Group in 1992. Since then, commitments to the country totaled over $3.78 billion for 50 projects.
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