By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
The development of agriculture is constantly in the spotlight of the Azerbaijani government. The competitiveness of local agricultural products is growing and export opportunities are expanding. In most areas of the agricultural sector, production increases with the direct and indirect support of the state.
Ilham Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, has said at a press conference that Council of Agricultural Subsidies has been established to determine subsidization mechanisms.
He said that the Council includes representatives of Ministries of Economy, Finance, Agriculture, the State Statistics Committee, the Confederation of Entrepreneurs and Employers and the Council of Farmers. Minister of Agriculture is the chairman of the Council.
“The Ministry of Agriculture formed a team due to the creation of an information system for subsidies. The Council of Agricultural Subsidies has also been created to determine the coefficients of subsidization of sown areas for each crop based on the base cost of 200 manats ($117),” Guliyev noted.
The Council may update determined lists, ratios and quotas in accordance with the results of the annual assessment.
Guliyev also emphasized that subsidies will be issued to farmers in Azerbaijan starting from January 15, 2020, noting that if there is any drawback within the trial period of this year, it will be eliminated.
Touching on innovations, which will be introduced, he underlined the E-Agricultural Information System, where the purchase of fertilizers will be carried. Guliyev added that 320,000 farmers have so far registered in the E-Agricultural Information System.
E-agriculture Information System will serve to ensure transparency and flexibility in the agricultural sector, including the issuance of subsidies. Implementation of all services through e-government will create additional benefits for farmers.
Guliyev stressed that the issuance of subsidies to farmers under the new rules since 2020 serves as a significant mechanism for ensuring transparency.
“After all indicators are displayed in the system, a plastic card will be issued to the farmer. The major executive body in the field of subsidies is the State Service on Management of Agricultural Projects and Credits under the Ministry of Agriculture,” he pointed out.
He also said that trainers are currently being prepared to train farmers.
Moreover, the issuance of agricultural subsidies to Azerbaijani farmers will be operated in non-cash form.
“Farmers will be able to use 25 percent of the amount on the balance of the card in cash form, and 75 percent in non-cash form. These cards are created specifically for farmers, and they will be issued by Kapital Bank,” Guliyev noted.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani farmers continue to receive large subsidies. More than 86 million manats ($50.58 million) will be allocated to farmers for fuel and motor oil, cultivation of wheat, rice as well as silk cocoons in 2019.
Significant growth in productivity and production has been observed in the agricultural sector thanks to innovative technologies, which are key factor of intensive development.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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