By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Poland and France have joined the list of countries that import Azerbaijan’s most famous fruit - pomegranates, Chairman of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Pomegranate Farhad Garashov has said.
"This year we have access to two new markets - Poland and France. In the regions, trainings are regularly held with the participation of invited experts, including foreign ones, on the pomegranate production, including innovative methods of packaging, certification, harvesting and pest control. Of course, all this work has an impact on the overall growth of production," he said.
Garashov added that despite entering new markets, Azerbaijani pomegranates are still exported mainly to the CIS countries.
He emphasized that the production and export of pomegranate in Azerbaijan is growing every year, as well as the number of innovations, educational events and trainings in this field.
"Our goal is to work with existing varieties of pomegranate, restore those varieties that were destroyed in the past, and improve the quality of existing delicious varieties, increase our export potential by promoting pest control, proper watering and proper pruning," Garashov said.
He noted that acid, sour-sweet and sweet varieties are produced in Azerbaijan.
"There are also such varieties as Veles, Gyuleysha, Azerbaijani Gyuleysha, Bala Mursal, Girmizigabig, Aggabig and white-sweet pomegranate. Currently, there are about 18 varieties, but by name there are about 150. Currently, the relevant institutions of the Agriculture Ministry are working on the restoration of genomes, further increasing the selection of existing varieties through selection and improving quality," Garashov concluded.
Azerbaijan is considered the only country where all varieties of pomegranate grow.
Goychay region is distinguished for the pomegranate cultivation in Azerbaijan. Since 2006, traditional festivals of pomegranates have been held in Goychay region every year. It serves to promote the Azerbaijani pomegranate that has become a cultural and tourism symbol of the country.
Pomegranate is not only economically profitable, but also of great importance for human health. Pomegranate juice and peel are used in the treatment of up to 20 diseases. Pomegranate rind, as well as oil from its seeds are used in cosmetology, pharmaceutical production.
Products made of Azerbaijani pomegranate are already exported to various countries of the world - from Australia to Canada. These are pomegranate juice, narsharab (pomegranate syrup) and other products. Azerbaijan has exported 8,000 seedlings of pomegranate trees to Colombia in 2018.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz