Azerbaijan simplifies agricultural subsidies mechanism

10 January 2020 13:58 (UTC+04:00)

By Rasana Gasimova

The Cabinet of Ministers’ recent decree on improving the process of agricultural subsidies will ensure the stability, sustainability, and simplification of subsidies issued for farmers, the Cabinet of Ministers said in its official website.

According to the decree, a new, more stable and long-term mechanism for issuing plastic cards is being formed. Previously, three-year plastic subsidy cards were issued only to farmers engaged in the field of crop production, including tobacco growing and cotton growing, but those engaged in cattle breeding did not receive such cards.

The new unified Rules provide for the issuance of three-year plastic cards to cattle breeders, as well. Instead of applying to two instances for registration - the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers will need to only contact the Agrarian Credit and Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Thus, the new rules provide mechanisms of state support to those working in the areas of cotton, tobacco and livestock; strengthen state support to agriculture; forms a stable and easily predictable mechanism of state support; simplifies registration with subsidies; creates an opportunity for farmers to establish a business plan for three years.

This, in turn, reduces the risks of investing in agricultural production, creates a favorable environment for attracting additional investment for a period of three years with guarantee support from the state.

Note that the process of issuing subsidies in Azerbaijan’s agricultural sector will be carried out online starting from 2020. The new e-Agriculture Information System (EKTIS) is being introduced in the country.

Over 420,000 entrepreneurs have registered in this system so far and over 240,000 farmers have entered information on the sown area into the system; this will create conditions for more transparent allocation of subsidies.

It was noted that previously, a separate subsidy used to be provided for each agricultural product, and orders were signed for each subsidy. For example, a decree on crop production was signed, and the farmer received a one-time subsidy to in the amount of 100 manat per hectare.

Separate orders were also signed for livestock, beekeeping and fish farming. Tobacco growing and cotton growing, which are not included in the first version of the decree, will be also included and there will also be no need to sign a separate order for each type of agricultural product. A single system and universal mechanisms that will be applicable in all relevant areas are being created.

The electronic format of services will eliminate the loss of time in the provision of subsidies, making the process more transparent.

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