By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan will increase export of hazelnuts by creating new hazelnut orchards, the country's Food Safety Agency reported on July 28.
Since 2016, intensive planting of new gardens has started in Zagatala, Gakh, Balaken, Oghuz, Sheki, Khachmaz, Ismailli, Gusar, Guba and Shabran regions. Thus, compared to 2015, the area of hazelnut orchards in 2019 increased by 2.4 times, from 32,700 to 79,500 hectares. In addition, products are brought to local markets, and are also exported to Russia, Italy, Germany, Ukraine and other countries.
Moreover, in recent years, hazelnut have ranked second after tomatoes in terms of profitability of agricultural products. Hazelnut exports in value terms increased by more than 20 million dollars, amounting to $125.6 million in 2019, compared to 2016. Thus, it is planned to increase this indicator by creating new hazelnut orchards.
The plans to increase the country's hazelnut production were discussed during the meeting held among Food Safety Agency of Azerbaijan, Association of Hazelnut Producers and Exporters, and employees of the Agency for Agrarian Services.
High on the agenda was also the production and export of hazelnuts, problems faced by producers and exporters, cases of infestation of products in production areas and storages by pests, measures of struggle against them, as well as reasons of formation of poisonous aflatoxin.
Earlier it was reported that, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched a joint project in the field of hazelnut production.
The project aims to increase productivity through the development of supply chains for growing hazelnuts in Azerbaijan, increase the efficiency of hazelnut production using intensive technologies, improve the quality of products by reducing the risk of aflatoxin.
Azerbaijan is among the top-5 countries producing hazelnuts in the world along with Turkey, Italy, the US and Georgia.
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