By Narmina Mammadova
Azerbaijan, along with fertile land, has favorable climatic conditions. This provides an opportunity for the development of agriculture in the country.
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.
Thus, the government continues to develop this field. Azerbaijan is in need of quality seeds to grow its own products on order to both meet local demand and increase exports.
In 2019, the Azerbaijani State Seed Fund under the Ministry of Agriculture plans to create a Seed Exchange, which is an online project, the head of the Seed Fund, Emin Aliyev, told Trend.
"It will be a single tool and using this Internet application, farmers, producers and seed companies will be able to choose seeds, carry freight, insure, review resumes and select consultants for agrotechnical consulting, and later even apply for trade financing or lending," said Aliyev.
He believes that this will be a practical and interesting project, with a large geographical, industrial and consumer coverage.
"In parallel, in 2019, the Foundation envisages the implementation of the “ToxuMart “ project, as well as the creation of its network stands in various parts of Baku," the head of the fund said, noting that more detailed information will be provided about this project in the near future.
The State Seed Fund was established under the Agriculture Minister of Azerbaijan by order of President Ilham Aliyev due to the country's increased need for new high-yielding and drought-resistant types of seeds, and in order to strengthen food security and state support for agricultural development of Azerbaijan in general.
Recently, the Agriculture Minister of Azerbaijan signed a protocol with Turkey in order to cooperate in the seed production. The goal of the bilateral agreement is to ensure efficiency and innovation in the agricultural sector.
Next year Azerbaijan intends to provide itself with seeds of major grain crops. Thus, this year up to 100,000 high-quality cereal seeds are planned to be grown in Azerbaijan, whereas this figure was 80,000 in 2017.
Five seed enterprises are planned to be built until 2020 in Azerbaijan. Two of these enterprises will be commissioned this year, and three of them - next year.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz