TODAY.AZ / Business

Gov’t set to accelerate sustainable cotton production

14 July 2017 [14:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli

Cotton is the most widely used fiber in the world today, comprising half of all fiber production. Around 90 countries worldwide grow cotton, used to make clothes and other textiles worldwide, with much of the rest coming from synthetic products.

Because cotton is such a valuable money crop, Azerbaijan has recently set a course on restoring its traditional industry -- cotton growing and now the state is providing huge support to this sphere.

In the 1970-1980s, cotton production was of crucial importance for Azerbaijan’s economy, accounting for approximately 25 percent of agricultural revenue. At the time, the country harvested a million tons of cotton per year.

Until 2016 cotton production remained very insignificant. But the measures, taken last year allowed to increase the sown area of cotton to 51.400 hectares, and its production increased up to 89.4000 tons.

In 2017, the sown area reached 136,000 hectares, and production is planned to reach to 260,000-270,000 tons.

Cotton seeds are sowed in fields where weed and unwanted plants are removed. Special pesticides and fertilizers are used to ensure the best quality product. The harvesting is done through machine when the cotton takes the shape of boll. Later, it is processed seeding, picking, ginning and baling. Other types of chemical and machinery are used to produce better quality of cottons.

Today, the country is implementing very serious measures to stimulate citizens and farmers to expand cotton growing areas. 

The State Program for 2017-2022 signed by President Ilham Aliyev on July 13 will further strengthen measures directed at developing this sphere. 

The purpose of the State Program is to develop cotton growing in Azerbaijan, increase export potential in this sphere, ensure employment of the rural population and increase the production of cotton to 500,000 tons in 2022.  

Within the framework of the State Program it is planned to hold various institutional measures, improve regulatory and legal framework, strengthen personnel potential, apply innovative technologies, attract foreign investments and a number of other measures.

The National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES), Azerbaijan Investment Company and the State Service for Management of Agricultural Projects and Credits under the Agriculture  Ministry, as well as domestic and foreign investments and other sources are identified as sources of the financing for the State Program.

President Ilham Aliyev, who constantly made accent on importance of developing of this sphere, raised this issue once again at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to results of socio-economic development in the first half of 2017 and objectives for the future.

The head of state said Azerbaijan restored the glory of cotton growing, increasing crop area of cotton by about three times.

“The number of those who want to engage in cotton growing is already growing. This creates a good opportunity for complete elimination of unemployment in cotton-growing regions. If in 2015, some 35,000 tons of cotton were procured, then last year this figure reached about 90,000 tons. If last year cotton was grown on 51,000 hectares, then this year it is grown on 136,000 hectares. We increased cultivated areas by approximately three times,” he said.

President Aliyev added that cotton is grown in more than 20 regions of the country.

“We have been able to make a serious turn in cotton growing. Cotton is also excellent export good, sold on world stock exchanges, and at the same time is a resource base for the activities of the Mingachevir Industrial Park. Of course, we will try to export the finished product,” he said


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