By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
According to the results of 2019, Azerbaijan exported agricultural products worth $943.3 million, which is 14.1 percent more than in 2018, local media reported citing Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO).
Primary agricultural products accounted for $760.7 million in the structure of agricultural exports (an increase of 12.2 percent).
The volume of exports of processed agro-industrial products amounted to $182.6 million (an increase of 23.3 percent) last year.
As was reported earlier, the volume of agricultural production in Azerbaijan in 2019 amounted to $4,619,354,171, which is 7.2 percent higher than in 2018.
At the same time, the volume of production in livestock production amounted to $2,408,203,895, crop production - $2,211,150,276. At the same time, growth in livestock production reached 3.5 percent, crop production - 11.7 percent.
Presently, one of the considerably increasing fields of food export is grape. As the Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture disclosed, Azerbaijan exported 4,170 tons of grapes in 2019 and earned about $3.3 million from the export of this product.
The major importers of Azerbaijani grape are Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and UAE.
In general, grape production in Azerbaijan amounted to 201,800 tons in 2019. This indicator increased by 20.4 percent compared to 2018.
Presently, there are 16,100 hectares of vineyards in the country.
In addition, significant growth was recorded in the volume of export of pomegranate and pomegranate products in Azerbaijan, as the Chairman of the Azerbaijan Association of Pomegranate Manufacturers and Exporters Farhad Garashov told.
Some 9,300 tons of products worth $12.2 million were exported in 2018, versus 17,500 tons of products worth $19 million in 2019.
Based on the publication by The German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan) and Germany Trade & Invest (German economic development agency) modernization and expansion of the agriculture and food industry is a leading priority in the Azerbaijani government’s diversification strategy. Recent reforms, initiatives and programs for food production and processing, as well as the Roadmap for Developing Agribusiness, adopted in December 2016, are yielding early results.
Reforms and initiatives started to boost agribusiness includes following steps:
Establishment of agricultural parks and larger agricultural cooperatives;
Programs to expand the product groupings raw cotton, cocoons, citrus fruits, pomegranates, wine, rice, hazelnuts, tea, tobacco, animal husbandry and fish farming (the latter two programmes are currently in preparation);
Joint projects with the World Bank for the development of rural infrastructure and greenhouse farming;
Establishment of phytosanitary and veterinary services and creation of efficient value chains (the Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project and Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project);
Increased project funding via the Entrepreneurship Development Fund;
Establishment of state agricultural development centres as one-stop-shop service providers based on former regional branches of the Ministry of Agriculture.
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