By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan intends to provide itself with seeds of major grain crops through which the country’s agriculture sphere will enter a new development stage.
By the end of this year, five seed processing plants will start operating in Azerbaijan, Emin Aliyev, Chairman of the State Seed Fund under the Ministry of Agriculture, told Trend.
In his words, in addition to the launch of two such enterprises in Khachmaz and Shaki this summer, it is planned to open three new plants by the end of the second half of next year.
“The plants in Tovuz, Gobustan and Agjabadi are planned to be launched before the end of this year,” he said.
Aliyev further stressed that the creation of seed processing plants will continue in 2020 as well. “Particularly, it is planned to build new seed processing plants in the southern zones of the country - in Jalilabad and Saatli - in the first half of next year.”
The chairman also added that the plants are designed to process seed, implement seed dressing and packaging in order to obtain seeds.
It is noteworthy that the production capacity of each of the enterprises is designed at 5 tons per hour, and the storage capacity - at 3,000 tons. Azerbaijan’s annual demand for seeds is 120,000 tons.
The revival of the agriculture sector plays an important role in the development of rural regions, where 47 percent of Azerbaijan’s population lives. Azerbaijan is in need of quality seeds to grow its own products on order to both meet local demand and increase exports.
The State Seed Fund was established 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.
It should be noted that State Seed Fund plans to create a Seed Exchange this year.
Seed Exchange is an online project that will be a single tool through which 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. It will play the role of a single platform for producers and importers of seeds, individuals and legal entities engaged in seed production. Mainly, the West European experience will be studied in the creation of the Seed Exchange.
In addition, this year, the Fund envisages the implementation of the ToxumArt project, as well as the creation of its network stands in various parts of Baku.
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.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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