Azerbaijan: Cotton-growing achieves new record in 2019
Azerbaijan: Cotton-growing achieves new record in 2019

Azerbaijan: Cotton-growing achieves new record in 2019

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By Ofeliya Afandiyeva

The state program of 2017 aimed at the development of cotton growing in Azerbaijan is yielding results.

Thus, 290,145 tons of cotton have been delivered to cotton receiving points throughout Azerbaijan by November 27, 2019, which is 34.1 percent higher compared to the same period in 2018, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The districts that yielded the largest volume of cotton in 2019 are Saatli (41,236 tons), Barda (33,529 tons), Agjabadi (31,870 tons), Beylagan (29,334 tons) and Bilasuvar (29,079 tons).

Cotton is one of the most progressive sectors of agriculture in Azerbaijan. As an example, the number of cotton growers in 20 districts of Azerbaijan reached 18,000 people in 2019, which is 2,373 people more compared to 2018.

It is worth to mention that cotton production ensures main income for more than 200,000 people in Azerbaijan, including farmers, seasonal workers, and specialists working in the cotton fields such as agronomists, mechanics, drivers and others. Note that 23 cotton plants, seven yarn factories and three cotton oil companies operates in the country.

Moreover, in 2018, 132,500 hectares sown area, were planted for cotton-growing in Azerbaijan.  However, cotton areas have been reduced to 100,100 hectares due to exclusion of less productive land from crop rotation in 2019. This step has allowed to increase the average productivity in cotton production and use those removed lands more efficiently. Despite the reduction, productivity per hectare reached 27 quintals, while last year it was 17 quintals.

According to the information by the Ministry, proper observance of the rules of agrotechnical maintenance, the high level of fertilizer supply and the harvesting of products from the fields without any technical losses are the major causes for the growth in productivity.

Azerbaijan produced 800,000-900,000 tons of cotton in the 1970s and early 1980s, compared to 35,200 tons from 18,700 hectares sown area in 2015.

However, as a result of substantial actions taken in the field of cotton-growing since 2016, the area of cotton-growing lands increased by 2.7 times (51,400 hectares) and cotton production increased by 2.5 times (89,400 tons) compared to the previous year.

In general, the record indicator of cotton production in Azerbaijan during the period of the country’s independence was achieved in 2018. Last year, 230,000 tons of raw cotton were harvested, which is 6.5 times higher than the relevant figure of 2015.

In a bid to revive the cotton cultivation tradition and achieve progress in non-oil sector, the government passed the State Program on the development of cotton growing for 2017-2020 that was approved by the decree of the President dated March 13 July, 2017.

The objective of the State Program is to meet the demand for cotton products in the country, improve the raw material supply of cotton processing plants, develop the processing industry, increase the export of cotton products, strengthen the state support for cotton-growing and to stimulate the development of this field to increase the employment level of the population in rural areas. As a consequence of the implementation of the State Program, raw cotton production in 2022 will reach 500,000 tons.




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