Baku – Azerbaijan, October 18, 2020: The Deputy Chairperson of the State Agricultural Credit and Development Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Leyla Mammadova disclosed how the agricultural sector of Azerbaijan plays a big role in the country’s overall progress whether it be in the local food security or addressing economic problems such as unemployment.
She noted that agriculture has a special share in the non-oil sector of the economy with about 40 percent of the country’s population working in this field – further explaining the state support that the State Agro Credit and Development provides in this direction. By implementing projects that stimulate the development of farmers and owners of agricultural projects, the main task is to provide low-interest agricultural loans, concessions on equipment and animal husbandry, attract investment in agriculture, provide subsidies to farmers, and implement various projects in connection.
In order to support agricultural developments, she stated that the collaboration of the agency with local and international organizations has implemented many projects that have special importance in studying and applying international expertise.
“We have before us two challenges to successfully implement our projects. One of which is known to the rest of the world, the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, and the other is the recent events about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in the Nagorno Karabakh region. A conflict that began after the sudden attack of the Armenian armed forces on the lands of Azerbaijan resulting to the disputant’s occupation on 20 percent of the Azerbaijan lands,” she said. As the Azerbaijan carries out ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijani civilians in the occupied territories, the Armenian occupation army has launched rockets and artillery shells on the lands outside the war zone. Extensively affecting cities of Azerbaijan especially its second largest, Ganja, along with Mingachevir, Tartar, Shamkir, Goranboy and Barada. The blasts has created various difficulties to complete the projects in these cities and regions.
On October 11 and October 17, the result of the Armenian armed forces shelling the city of Ganja with missiles has killed more than 20 people with more than 90 citizens wounded. The terrorist acts and these inhuman attacks by the Armenian army on the civilian population has also affected the daily activities of the agricultural population.
Mrs. Leyla said that there are some projects that are being set up in conjunction with international donor organizations. However, they are now facing some risks for its implementation. Within the framework of the “Agricultural Value Chain” project, which includes the construction of a processing plant, the supply of equipment for poultry farms in Tartar, and the projects to establish goat milk factories and many other projects planned in Shamkir and Kazak, it is almost impossible to carry out given the current situation.
Concluding her statement, she said “We hope that the conflict will be resolved soon within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and the projects implemented with the support of the state and with the participation of international organizations will be reactivated, to create better directions in the comprehensive development of agriculture.”
“Both countries, the United Arab Emirates and Azerbaijan, will be able to continue work that would develop trade relations and seek ways to expand cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade and agricultural investment,” she said.
She referred to the expectations of the International Food and Agriculture Organization about increasing the current agricultural production by 70 percent to meet the people’s increasing needs for food products until 2050, due to the pace of increase in the world population.