By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan is expanding geography of export of tomatoes that ranked first among the country's non-oil exports in 2020.
The country has started exporting tomatoes to the Persian Gulf and Europe countries along with the traditional markets, head of the Azerbaijani Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) under the Economy Ministry has said.
Addressing entrepreneurs operating in the field of production and export of tomatoes, AZPROMO head Yusif Abdullayev said that work is underway to remove difficulties for exporters in this area, as well as about the mechanisms for support. Moreover, he invited entrepreneurs to closely cooperate with the state structures for the development of this sector.
The participants of the meeting discussed the diversification of export, increasing export potential, finding new priority markets for the products sale.
The online meeting was attended by executives of the Foundation, the Agency for Small and Medium Business Development, trade representatives of Azerbaijan in the United Arab Emirates and Central European countries, as well as representatives of more than 20 companies and about 40 individual entrepreneurs.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan increased export of tomatoes by 13.3 percent during the period of January-November 2020. During the reported period, Azerbaijan exported 176,000 tons of tomatoes worth $190.4 million.
Tomatoes ranked first in the list of Azerbaijan's non-oil exports during the first eleven months of 2020. Russia was top importer of Azerbaijani tomatoes in 2020. Earlier, Russia's agriculture watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor placed a ban on Azerbaijani tomatoes on December 10, citing the necessity to “prevent the import and spread” of pesticides to Russia. The ban was lifted on December 16 after negotiations with Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency. Tomatoes are Azerbaijan’s second-largest import to its northern neighbour Russia.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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