In 2025, the paddy cultivation areas will be increased to 10,000 hectares, production up to 40,000 tons. Trend reprots that, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has issued an order on approval of State Program on development of paddy growing in Azerbaijan in 2018-2025. In order to provide funding of the measures in the State Program, the Ministries of Finance and Economy are to take into account the necessary fund while developing state budget and state investment programs. Ministry of Agriculture is to coordinate the measures in the State Program Jointly and inform the president about execution of the program once a year.
In 2017, rice cultivation area has increased by more than 2 times compared to the previous year and reached 5.1 thousand hectares: "However, the country's annual demand for rice is more than 40,000 tons, and a large portion of it is provided through imports . From this point, work to be done in the frame of the State Program is expected to improve and stimulate this area.
In September of last year at the Republican conference on prodution isues of tea, rice and citrus fruits head of Astara District Executive Authority Gazanfar Agayev told that rice growing is one of profitable area of agriculture: " As a result of state care and support for this field, over the last two years rice growing has increased 7 times and accounted for 450 hectares. About 2,000 tons of paddy production is expected to harvest by agrotechnical service, sowing more productive seeds. Analyses suggest that expanding irrigation networks of the region can rise paddy areas several times.
According to Aghayev, currently, there are 8 small paddy processing areas in our district. Next year, a paddy processing and packaging plant meeting modern demands is going to be built.
Speaking at the same conference Head of Masalli District Executive Authority Rafil Huseynov said that next year paddy growing is considered to double and reach up to 400 hectares. Due to this, restoration of 77 artificial ponds which were out of order has been started with support of Azerbaijan Amelioration and Water Management JSC. It will be possible to irrigate at least 600-700 hectares of tobacco and paddy areas with an additional 8-10 million cubic meters of irrigation water after commissioning of these ponds.
What is the significance of adoption of the State Program on the development of paddy growing?
Member of Milli Mejlis, economist Aydin Huseynov told that noteworthy achievements have been achieved within the state program on socio-economic development of the regions: "Infrastructure problem in regions, uninterruptible power supply, e.g. some serious problems have already found solution. At the next stage, the priority is to develop the agrarian sector in certain regions. In this regard, features of each region are taken into account. With the production of important agricultural products, the domestic market demand will be provided at the expense of local production. It is a principal issue. From this point, paddy is considered one of the traditional areas in the southern region. There is a domestic demand for rice growing. If the results described in the program are obtained, we can also export paddy abroad along with meeting local demand. This will give impetus to the growth of agriculture and, in general, to the country's economy." said Huseynov.
Agriculture expert Gadir Bayramli told that paddy is one of major areas of agriculture: "About 40 percent of the world's population consume rice. Rice is one of the most popular foods in Japan. This food is considered one of traditional areas in Azerbaijan as well." he told.
"Since the late 1960's, attention to this area has declined and eventually turned into a forgotten area. While there is an experience and tradition in this filed. Paddy is grown mostly in the southern part of Azerbaijan If the paddy growing redevelops, local production can meet domestic demand. In my view, we can cooperate with Turkey, India, China, Vietnam and other Central Asian countries on this area. Through this cooperation we may gain experience and get acquainted with new methods of rice cultivation. If the adopted state program is properly implemented, we will restore this field in the country.
Since the program will maintain Azerbaijan to be the region’s most rice cultivated country. There are natural conditions and great potential for this. However, the issue must be addressed in comprehensive manner." added Gadir Byramli.