By Amina Nazarli
Israel plans to build a company for production of vegetable and fruit crops’ seeds in Azerbaijan,
Alex Kaplun, the president of the Israel-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IACCI) told Trend.
The project on the seed production company construction was initiated a year ago by Azerbaijan’s Agriculture Ministry and the IACCI.
"In late 2016, in anticipation of the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Baku, a contract was signed between Azerbaijan’s Agriculture Ministry and the Israeli Plain Sciences (IPS) company to create a state enterprise for seed breeding and production," Kaplun noted.
The IPS will be the contractor of the project from the Israeli side, he said, noting that the IPS will act in partnership with several leading Israeli companies and will be headed by Oded Sagi, Ph.D. in agricultural science, who is one of the best Israeli specialists in the field of breeding new seeds and their production.
Kaplun noted that the quality seeds of own production are the basis for successful farming, and using quality seeds well adapted to weather conditions enables farmers to get fruitful harvest.
"Azerbaijan has excellent conditions for the development of farms. Establishment of local seed production will make it possible to abandon the import of seeds, save the state budget funds and create new jobs,” believes Kaplun.
Today, Azerbaijan’s agriculture sector completely depends on the imported seeds. Many seeds are produced by European companies, and these seeds are not adapted to local weather conditions, he noted.
"The establishment of the enterprise will open new opportunities for the economy of Azerbaijan, and the country will be able to export seeds in the future, and this will become a positive and significant step in the development of the entire agro-industrial complex," he said.
"Teaching Azerbaijani specialists the technologies for breeding new varieties of seeds ideally adapted to the Azerbaijani climate and consumer priorities will become an integral part of the project," Kaplun added.
For this purpose, laboratories for the research and breeding of new varieties of seeds will be built within the framework of the project, he said.
Azerbaijan seeks to achieve an economy driven by the non-oil sector, but not petrodollars. That means putting more effort to develop local production and more support to agriculture, one of Azerbaijan’s best non-oil sector development options.
The agricultural sector is important in Azerbaijan not only to increase export potential, but also to restore and protect the country’s food security.