Ilham Aliyev attended inauguration of Research Institute of Vegetable Growing

24 january 2019, 10:45

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the inauguration of the renovated Research Institute of Vegetable Growing, and Potato and Vegetable Seeds Production complex under the Ministry of Agriculture in Pirshaghi settlement, Sabunchu district, Baku.

The head of state cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the building.

Minister of Agriculture Inam Karimov informed the head of state of the work done.

President Ilham Aliyev then met with the Volunteers of Agrarian Development.

President Ilham Aliyev said:

- Thank you very much! My warm greetings! I am very pleased that the “Volunteers of Agrarian Development” movement is being launched in Azerbaijan. I am sure that this movement has a great future. In general, the number of volunteers in Azerbaijan is increasing, and this is very gratifying. As you know, the movement of volunteers in Azerbaijan originated at "ASAN xidmət" centers and assumed very large proportions. To this day, thousands of volunteers worked at "ASAN xidmət" and are currently successfully working in various positions. Volunteers have also helped us host representative international events, in particular the European Games and the Games of Islamic Solidarity. Volunteers have made a significant contribution to the preparation and hosting of these games. As you know, I have awarded them all with honorary diplomas. Today, volunteers start their activities in the agricultural sector as well. I warmly welcome this initiative because the young people living in the regions can achieve great success in the agricultural sector by joining this work.

The agricultural sector is strategic for us. This is both an economic and a social sphere. Forty-seven percent of our population lives in the regions. Therefore, the attention being paid to the socioeconomic development of agriculture and the regions in recent years aims to increase both employment and productivity. Azerbaijan has reached the highest level both in terms of addressing the domestic demand and in terms of the volume of exports.

Today, we are bringing these issues to the fore at the opening of the Research Institute of Vegetable Growing under the Ministry of Agriculture. Using the example of this wonderful institution, we see the work being done in the agricultural sector today. The institution established in the 1960s practically did not operate in recent years. It had almost collapsed. In 2016, a relevant order on the reconstruction of the institute at the modern level was signed, and the most modern center has been created on an area of 30 hectares – greenhouses, a beautiful building of the institute, laboratories. This institute is of great importance because seed-growing greenhouses are being created in Azerbaijan for the first time. We have a lot of greenhouses now and there is a huge interest in vegetable production, but the creation of seed greenhouses begins only today, and this center will support all regions of the country.

Vegetable growing is a traditional branch of our agriculture, a highly profitable area. You probably know that the greatest income amongst agricultural products is brought by the export of tomatoes. Farmers are eagerly engaged in this business. Other vegetables are also grown extensively. We increase production every year. The operation of this institute will significantly increase the yields and, to a certain extent, also prevent the outflow of currency abroad because all the seeds are brought from abroad today and major funds are spent on their acquisition. From now on, a significant part of the seeds will be grown in our country, triggering the flow of currency into Azerbaijan, increasing employment and productivity. By fully providing ourselves, we will access foreign markets with greater export opportunities. This is our goal. The diversification of the country's economy, the development of the non-oil sector and agriculture are the main issues on the agenda. There are also positive trends in industry. As you know, a carbamide plant was recently opened in Sumgayit. This is a large project implemented in the non-oil sector. We will fully provide ourselves with nitrogen fertilizers. At the same time, we will export produce worth about $150-160 million. Pivot irrigation systems and pesticide plants operate in Azerbaijan. In other words, industrial production also supports agriculture and creates the necessary conditions for its development. Of course, I believe that the active participation of such young people as you in this work is the main condition, the main factor of success.

I am very pleased that the Azerbaijani youth is showing great interest in the agrarian sector. This is a true innovation in Azerbaijan. It used to be believed that the agrarian sphere was not so attractive, not so interesting. It was even thought that it was not very profitable. But it all depends on how you approach it. If the state supports agriculture, there will be both income and interest, and it will provide itself with innovations.

The development of agriculture enjoys tremendous state support in Azerbaijan – subsidies are provided, farmers are exempted from all taxes except for the land tax. Equipment is purchased and loans are provided on concessional terms. At present, large-scale reforms are under way in agriculture, the mechanism for issuing subsidies is being improved, and a clearer and more transparent mechanism is being applied.

While at the institute, I was briefed on the "Electronic Agriculture" project. In other words, completely new conditions are being created for farmers, so agriculture will become a very attractive area. I am sure that when the people of Azerbaijan see that such literate and knowledgeable young people as you show an interest in this area, interest in agriculture will increase even more.

I am very glad that we are together opening this wonderful institute after reconstruction. I should also note that structural reforms are currently underway at the Ministry of Agriculture and other state agencies. These reforms have one goal: build work at an even higher level. I should also emphasize that those who worked in the organizations that have been made redundant will be provided with work in existing agencies. No cuts are expected in agriculture. Other agencies have been instructed that the reforms should not lead to staff cuts. So let the people working in these institutions, services and agencies know that their employment is always in the spotlight.

Please accept my greetings and congratulations again! You will work in different regions of Azerbaijan and contribute to our common cause. Thank you!