By Leman Mammadova
Delicious strawberry, one of the rarest fruits grown in spring, is one of the most consumed fruit in Azerbaijan.
Two varieties of strawberries imported from abroad are grown in Azerbaijan, businessman Rafet Abbasov told Trend.
In his words, new varieties are imported from Turkey and grown in the Jalilabad region of Azerbaijan.
“These are the Albion and San Andreas varieties. Until recently, the Victoria variety was mainly cultivated in the country,” said Abbasov, adding that all these varieties are high-yielding.
He noted that the yield of the Victoria variety is 30-35 tons per hectare and it is provided only for the domestic market due to the low stability.
Abbasov further noted that the picking of strawberries grown in greenhouses began in March, and of those grown in open air began in late April.
“Harvesting will continue until November, depending on weather conditions,” he said.
In Azerbaijan, strawberry is widely grown in Jalilabad, Guba, Khachmaz, Gusar, Shaki, Zagatala and Lankaran regions. In recent years, strawberries have been cultivated not only for the local market, but also for export. About 600 tons of strawberry is produced in the country annually.
Being rich in vitamins A, B and C, strawberries are easily digested by the body. Daily consumption of 7-8 strawberries meets the daily demand in vitamin C.
It should also be noted that Azerbaijan for the first time began to produce white strawberries in 2017.
Azerbaijan's nature, climate and land opportunities are favorable for the expansion of fruit gardens and the large-scale production of various fruits.
Fruit growing is one of the priorities of the agrarian sector. Climate conditions in Azerbaijan create favorable conditions for greater productivity. Guba-Khachmaz economic region specializes on seedy fruits, Zagatala-Shaki - on nuts, Nakhchivan - on stone fruits, Kur-Araz - on dry subtropical fruits, Lankaran - on citrus fruits, and Absheron peninsula - on the southern crops.
The main fruit and vegetable products exported from Azerbaijan are pure nuts, tomatoes, apples, cherries, potatoes, cucumbers and gherkins, onions, peaches, pomegranates, grapes and so on.
In general, agricultural production in Azerbaijan amounted to 7 billion manats ($4.11 billion) in 2018, which is 4.6 percent higher than in 2017. The volume of production in livestock amounted to 3.8 billion manats ($2.2 billion), and in crop production - to 3.2 billion manats ($1.9 billion).
As much as 1.11 million tons of fruits and berries were harvested in Azerbaijan in 2018, which is an increase of 5.9 percent compared to 2017. In 2018, Azerbaijan exported fruit and vegetable products in the amount of about $560 million.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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