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New seed varieties being tested in Azerbaijan

14 September 2023 [20:40] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews 

Abbas Ganbay

More than 70% of Azerbaijan's demand for 100 thousand tonnes of grain seeds is covered by local production, Niyazi Amirbayov, chairman of the board of the Association of Grain Producers and Processors of Azerbaijan, told journalists at the Festival of Agrarian Innovations in Hajigabul, Azernews reports.

He noted that every year local seed growers began to occupy an increasing share of the market.

Amirbekov said last year's grain yield in Hajigabul was a national record: "Thus, the total yield was 55 centners. Hajigabul is a difficult area because of the climate and soil conditions. If we can achieve such results here, it means that success will be achieved in the agricultural sector".

New seed varieties are being tested in Azerbaijan together with research institutes and foreign specialists.

Chairman of the Board of the Association of Grain Producers and Processors of Azerbaijan Niyazi Amirbayov told journalists at the Festival of Agrarian Innovations in Hajigabul.

Amirbayov noted that every year more and more varieties resistant to drought are grown: "The use of quality seeds is a guarantee of a good harvest".

According to him, due to climate change, water resources are decreasing in the world, which is also observed in Azerbaijan: "In these conditions, selection of varieties resistant to climatic conditions is very important. We are conducting serious research in this field".

The country has seen a steady increase in its grain seed production over the past few years, thanks to the implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices and the use of nuclear and related techniques. A 2021 pilot project, supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), saw yields increase from the country's average of three tonnes per hectare to eight tonnes per hectare.

Azerbaijan is particularly vulnerable to climate change and soil degradation, with its average annual temperature rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius since 1991, decreasing rainfall, and more frequent extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, or heat waves. To address this, IAEA experts developed a complete package of nuclear and related farming techniques, from preparing soil and selecting the best cotton varieties to applying nutrients and irrigation to cotton fields and ensuring weed, pest, and disease control.

The government has largely completed the privatization of agricultural lands and small and medium-sized enterprises, and in 2020, the Azerbaijan Renewable Energy Agency (AREA) replaced the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources (SAARES) to develop and implement renewable energy projects. The main objective of the agency is to increase the share of renewables in the power capacity up to 30% by 2030.

Azerbaijan has made a commitment to reduce its level of GHG emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to 1990. CO2 emissions from energy combustion have increased by around 4%/year since 2010 to 36 MtCO2 (5.8% in 2021).

Thanks to the implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices, the use of nuclear and related farming techniques, and the government's commitment to renewable energy, Azerbaijan is increasingly able to meet its own demand for grain seeds.

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