By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The volume of Azerbaijan’s overall agricultural production increased by 7.2 percent year-on-year in 2019, including crop production by 11.7 percent and livestock production by 3.5 percent, Minister of Agriculture Inam Karimov has said.
Addressing a conference titled “Cotton 2020: Upcoming Tasks” in the southern Saatli region on January 25, Karimov said that “the agrarian sector has seen a steady growth rate over the last few years as a result of the government support.”
He stressed that result of consistent measures, the agricultural sector has entered a new phase of development, and the pace of development in this area continues.
Karimov added that the agricultural sector plays an important role in providing employment, increasing export potential and income of farmers.
He called 2019 a year of rapid development in the cotton industry: "Last year, cotton plantations declined by 32,500 hectares, and productivity was 61,000 tons more than in 2018. Last year, the average crop yield per hectare was 29.5 centners versus 11.9 centners in 2018. The country's leadership has been tasked with achieving increased productivity through the use of best practices and advanced technologies," he added.
Addressing the event, Head of Saatli region executive power Nazim Ismayilov said that the region had great potential and tradition in agriculture, including cotton, and gave information about the current situation in the agrarian sector.
Representatives of the Agriculture Ministry, the management at OJSC Melioration and Water Management, region executive power officials, heads of ministries, state agrarian development centers, Azerbaijan Cotton Manufacturers Association members, over 250 farmers engaged in cotton production; as well as representatives of cotton processing enterprises attended the event.
The meeting discussed the prospects of cotton production and emphasized the importance of the experience of advanced farmers and countries, as well as the use of intensive technologies.
The meeting participants shared their views on the implementation of the tasks set out in the "The State Program for 2017-2022 on development of cotton growing in Azerbaijan." During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the lack of irrigation water, mineral fertilizers, herbicides, medicines and technical support, and agribusiness lending. The heads of the relevant departments of the Ministry answered questions of the farmers.
In the end, it was decided to further hold meetings in such a format, as well as to inform farmers about the work being done and to address the issues raised.
Note that President Aliyev signed an order approving "The State Program for 2017-2022 on development of cotton growing in the Republic of Azerbaijan" on 13 July 2017.
The order aims to develop cotton growing in Azerbaijan, increase the export potential in this field and ensure the employment of village population.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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