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As Azerbaijan Diversifies its Economy, Agriculture Gets a Boost

Azerbaijan has announced that it will implement a European system of agricultural forecasting, part of an ongoing programme to develop the country’s agricultural sector.

“Moving to the new system will contribute to the long-term development of agriculture in Azerbaijan,” said Agriculture Minister Firdovsi Fikretzade. “This measure is important because as agriculture develops in Azerbaijan, methods of analysis need to become more complex, and previous, traditional methods are no longer reliable. New approaches are needed.”

Azerbaijan is currently making efforts to diversify the country’s economy, moving away from a reliance on the oil sector, and agriculture is one of them. The country has much fertile land, reliable water supply and enough climatic diversity to create a strong agro-sector. Azerbaijan has nine climate zones which offer the country a real chance to produce different agricultural products and various types of goods. A new law recently granted tax exemptions to agricultural producers, who only now have to pay land taxes.

Azerbaijan currently has around 5 million ha of agricultural land. The food-processing sector sector already constitutes an essential part of the national economy, accounting for over 38 per cent of total manufacturing.

Encouraging agriculture will also boost rural development, another key government goal. More than half of Azerbaijan’s populations lives in a rural environment.