By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan has invested 2.4 billion manats (1.4 billion dollars) in the development of agricultural parks, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economy reported on August 24.
The investments to agricultural parks have been allocated through investment promotion documents and as well as in the form of private investments.
The Entrepreneurship Development Fund of the Ministry of Economy via promotion documents has allocated AZN 1.17 billion (690 million dollars) for the establishment and development of 50 agro-parks in total, the ministry said.
Some 25 agro-parks have been granted 32.8 million manats (19 million dollars) discounts to import machinery, technological equipment and other facilities.
Furthermore, the private sector has invested 1.2 billion manats (710 million dollars) in the development of the agro-parks in Azerbaijan.
The ministry said that the establishment of 51 agro-parks and large farms on 240,000 hectares in 32 regions is underway. Of these, 35 are specialized in crop production, 14 in crop production and animal husbandry, one in animal husbandry, and the other in sorting-packaging, processing and logistics. Some 43 agro-parks have already been launched, and design work is being carried out in others, the ministry added.
According to the ministry, out of total 80,000 hectares of irrigated land in 43 agricultural parks, 40,000 hectares are irrigated by pivot, 7,000 hectares by drip irrigation, 2,000 hectares by sprinkler irrigation systems, and 31,000 hectares by traditional methods.
The agro-parks also play an important role in increasing employment. Currently, some 4,750 permanent and more than 4,800 seasonal workers have been employed in agricultural parks and more than 4,500 additional jobs will be created in the future, the report reads.
In 2020, 124.3 thousand tons of wheat, 64.6 thousand tons of barley, 121.6 thousand tons of corn, 90.4 thousand tons of sugar beet, 45.5 thousand tons of corn for silage, 18.5 thousand tons of cotton, 5.9 thousand tons of soybeans, 32.3 thousand tons of alfalfa, 27.4 thousand tons of milk and 3.3 thousand tons of meat were produced in the agricultural parks.
In 2017-2020, orchards with a total area of 7,500 hectares were established in agricultural parks, of which 12,000 tons of apples, 393.5 tons of olives, 183 tons of almonds, 200.7 tons of pomegranates, 165 7 tons of grapes, etc. harvested.
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