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Azerbaijan boosts wheat self sufficiency rate

24 October 2019 [14:15] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rasana Gasimova

Azerbaijan is making progress in the development of grain production, ensuring the country's self-sufficiency in this product.

The level of Azerbaijan’s self-sufficiency in grains increased from 66 percent to 74 percent, whereas self-sufficiency in wheat rose from 58 percent to 65 percent, Deputy Minister of Economy Rufat Mammadov said at the 11th Global Grain Outlook International Grain Trading Conference held in Baku on October 22-25.

The Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIF) under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy has so far issued soft loans worth $71 million for projects related to the production and processing of grain, the deputy minster noted.

"These projects include creating agricultural parks and large farms. In addition, SIF provided soft loans for the creation of 30 grain storage facilities with a 456,000 tons capacity," Mammadov said.

In his words, in 2018, 3.3 million tons of grain was produced in Azerbaijan, including 2 million tons of wheat. The growth in grain production amounted to 13 percent, while wheat production increased by 12 percent.

Mammadov added that as of October 1, 2019, grain production in Azerbaijan amounted to 3.4 million tons, including 2.2 million tons of wheat.

In 2018, the volume of preferential loans to businesses through SIF amounted to 160.2 million manats ($94.2 million). In 2019, the volume of lending will reach at least 160 million manats ($94.1 million).

The amount of credits provided constitutes 5,000 to 50,000 manats (for 3 years), from 50,000 to 1 million manats (for 5 years) and large loans - from 1 million to 10 million (for 10 years). The loans’ interest rate is 5 percent per annum.

Vice President of the Russian Grain Union Alexander Korbut also spoke at the event.

He noted that Azerbaijan’s unique geographical location provides the country with a wide transit potential, turning it into an important player in the international grain turnover.

“International organizations attribute Azerbaijan sometimes to the Eastern Europe region and sometimes to Central Asia and the Middle East. The country can represent interests and ensure transit of products of other countries, interacting simultaneously with Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. This is an exceptional role, and the work carried out by the Azerbaijani government shows that the country is handling it,” Korbut said.

Note that since 2018, Azerbaijani government has successfully carried out agrarian reforms that include the implementation of the third State program on the socio-economic development of regions, the establishment of regional and rural infrastructure. This work has brought about prosperity in this region.

Increasing the grain production to the level where it can fully meet the demand of the population is the goal set by President Ilham Aliyev that is being successfully implemented by the state.

Thanks to ongoing reforms, grain production exceeded 3 million tons in 2018, and the yield is 30 centners per hectare. The farmers’ competent attitude to the care for the new crop, the selection of high-quality seeds in seed farms, the introduction of new irrigation technologies, the application of fertilizers and herbicides against rodents and weeds have also contributed to this progress.

The 11th Global Grain Outlook International Grain Trading Conference is organized by the Russian Grain Union, the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), the Russian Export Center and the Federation of Iranian Food Industries Associations.


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