By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan has a favorable climate and soil to grow cotton and recently the country has been using innovative technologies in cotton-growing industry.
Thus, Shirvan Experimental Station has started harvesting cotton that was planted with the use of innovative Chinese technologies, Trend reported, citing Head of Department of Plant Growing under the Ministry of Agriculture Imran Jumshudov.
The Head of Department noted that Chinese cotton planting technologies were implemented on ten hectares in central Ujar region.
Some 70-80 centners of cotton are expected to be harvested from each hectare, according to his words. Laser harrowing based on Chinese technology has been used in this area. The advantage of this method is that it helps to prevent soil resalting; it also saves water, promotes uniform seed germination, resulting in increased yield.
Jumshudov said that the technical advantage of the new method is that it allows completion of three operations in one step. At the same time, a new innovative technology is characterized by a high density per hectare. Some 200,000-220,000 seeds are sown in each hectare with a 90 centimeters distance between rows. By comparison, twice as less - 100,000-110,000 - seeds are cultivated by traditional methods.
According to Jumshudov, prevention of evaporation from the soil and the creation of a moisture deposit is one of the advantages presented by innovative technologies. According to Chinese technology, the use of polyethylene coating for planting and growing cotton reduces development of weeds. In addition, the polyethylene coating creates a good temperature regime for seed development, which allows for early sowing.
The Greek model cotton farms were also created in Terter and Salyan regions, while the Turkish one was created in Beylagan region.
Currently, the main goal is to achieve the implementation of pilot projects ensuring high productivity in larger territories. In this regard, teachers and students of the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University are expected to provide detailed information on cotton growing based on Chinese technology, as well as to demonstrate the benefits of this innovative method to cotton growing companies.
In early 2017, the State Program for 2017-2022 was approved with an aim of strengthening measures directed at developing cotton industry. The purpose of the State Program is to develop cotton growing, increase export potential in this sphere, ensure employment of the rural population and increase the production.
The new goal of the state is to bring the cotton production up to 500,000 tons by 2022 from the current 260,000 tons.
Cotton is a drought-resistant plant, but it does not tolerate frost and low temperatures, so Azerbaijan is a safe place to grow it.
In the early 1980s, Azerbaijan harvested up to a million tons of cotton per year. Later, like all other industries, as in all other Union republics, cotton growing declined and it could not receive the necessary investments for revival for a long time after that.
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