By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
About 300 species of apples are grown in Azerbaijan. Moreover, 60 of them are of industrial importance. A special advantage of apples is the possibility of their long-term storage. In Azerbaijan, apples ripen almost the entire year.
The country exported 39,355 tons of apples worth $16.2 million in the first half 2019. Exports volumes went up by 57.8 percent, while in monetary terms they recorded a 49.4 percent growth.
Russia is still the main importer of Azerbaijan apples. In January-June 2019, 37,354 tons of fresh apples were exported to Russia, which showed a 52.4 percent increase. In monetary terms, the exports equaled $15.2 million (an increase of 43 percent).
In general, Russia’s share in apple exports from Azerbaijan accounted for 95 percent within the reporting period.
The largest apple orchards in Azerbaijan are located in Guba and Khachmaz. There are more than 22,000 hectares of such orchards in the Guba-Khachmaz zone, some 13,062 hectares of which accounts for Guba region.
Approximately 30-35 percent of apples grown in Guba are on sale in the country's markets. Markets of Russia, the world's largest apple importer, are at the forefront of apple exports from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is famous with a rich variety of apples. The most common varieties are Golden Delicious, Rainet, Semerenko, Granny Smith and others. The most expensive is the Gizil Ahmad variety.
These are unusually tasty, relatively small apples of bright red color with dense skin and fragrant aroma. Due to their high iron content, these apples are recommended for children, pregnant women and those suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
The shape of the apples is round-conical. Besides they are chiseled and have dense, dry skin. If the growing conditions are quite favorable, then the skin automatically becomes a little rough, golden, light green color, which later acquires more yellowness.
Fruits are medium in size to a large, asymmetrical and smooth surface, peel of medium thickness, slightly oily, green and yellow-green harvest only after storing straw, covered with bloom. The flesh is green when harvested, hard, crunchy, juicy, sweet taste, and after storage white-yellow, soft, sweet, slightly fizzy, with great taste and pleasant aroma characteristic of this variety.
Granny Smith apple is large, often reaching a weight of 300 grams, round shape, with a glossy skin of bright green color. Sometimes half of an apple can be colored yellow-green or reddish, depending on the brightness of the sun.
Granny Smith has a hard and juicy white-green flesh, with a sweet-sour taste. Distinctive features of this variety - the lack of flavor and the preservation of the color of the pulp when cut, it does not darken.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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