Riving Azerbaijan's Agriculture Through Promoting Economic Diversity


(MENAFN- AzerNews)
Riving Azerbaijan
Qabil Ashirov Read more

Agriculture plays an important role in the economy ofAzerbaijan. It is worth noting that over 40 percent of thepopulation lives in rural areas and agricultural products rank inthird place in the exports of the country after oil and gas. So,the government attaches importance to the sector, and does its bestto boost it.

The government implemented several projects in this regard,which ensured the rapid development of Azerbaijan and improved thewell-being of citizens. Construction infrastructures, such assewage systems and highways in rural areas, renewing electricitysystems, constructing drinking water canals, the construction ofirrigation canals and reservoirs, such as Takhtakorpu-Jeyranbatanirrigation canal, Takhtakorpu reservoir, Shamkirchay reservoir,building agro-parks, subsidizing plowed lands, beehives, artificialinsemination, and so on can be exemplified.

Due to the implemented projects, the volume of arable lands inthe North and West of Azerbaijan enhanced. Taking into account thatagriculture is a strategic sector in the economy because itprovides people with food, all these works affected not onlyresidents in the rural areas but the whole country.

It is worth noting that the government is not limited to theimplemented projects, but works on new projects and continues towiden the scope to facilitate the daily lives of people living inrural areas.

Laying the foundation stone for the reconstruction of theShirvan irrigation canal in the Hajigabul district by AzerbaijaniPresident Ilham Aliyev is one of them.

To recall, the Upper Shirvan Irrigation Canal, the secondlargest canal in the country, was inaugurated in 1958. Mingachevirreservoir feeds the canal and it covers over 112,00 hectares ofagricultural land. Besides, the canal serves as a water source forresidential areas in several regions in eight districts located inthe Shirvan Plain. However, the canal has experienced significantwater losses and structural deterioration for over 65 years ofoperation. Taking into account the present condition of the canal,President Ilham Aliyev issued a decree on April 8 to reconstructthe canal and renamed it the Shirvan Irrigation Canal. Followingthe modernization of the canal, water resource management will beoptimized, the water supply will increase, and over 230,000hectares of land could be irrigated. The canal will not only enablethe irrigation of new farmlands and to facilitate the lives oflocal people but also have an environmental effect by recoveringthe Hajigabul Lake. As President Ilham Aliyev said:

“Whereas earlier this canal covered eight districts, now itwill cover 10, and the last point of the canal will be HajigabulLake right behind me. The Hajigabul Lake has been completely dryfor more than 10 years now. After the canal has been put intooperation, the lake will also be filled, which will have a verypositive effect on nature.”

It should be noted that the Shirvan canal project is the largestin terms of water volume and coverage of farmland. Thus, theresidents of 10 districts will benefit from the canal which is 14percent of Azerbaijan. As the President said:“by implementingthis project, we are breathing a new life into thissector.”

Besides, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev heralded newprojects in agriculture. He noted that an order had been signed onthe construction of the Garabagh Canal, which was previously calledthe Upper Garabagh Canal. He pointed out that a feasibility studywould be prepared and a new project would be developed as a resultof this work.

“We should start the construction of the Garabagh Canal nextyear. This is a canal that will cover 115,000 hectares. The numberof districts it will cover is equal to nine. In other words, 10districts will be irrigated here through the Shirvan canal and ninemore will be irrigated through the Garabagh canal,” PresidentIlham Aliyev emphasized.

Besides, President Ilham Aliyev pointed out that over 10reservoirs will be built. He noted that over 500,000 hectares ofland will be irrigated in just a few years.

President Ilham Aliyev also touched upon climate change in theworld and noted that like other countries Azerbaijan also suffersfrom climate change. He reminded that in previous years Azerbaijanfaced drought. He also spoke about the decreasing levels of rivers,drying up Kura and the Caspian Sea.

“Under such circumstances, it is our main task to use waterresources efficiently,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

After the implementation of the above-said projects water lossesin canals will reduce. For example, just in the Shirvan canal,water losses amounted to 30 percent and after the construction ofthe concrete canal, the losses will account for a maximum of fivepercent.

President Ilham Aliyev also spoke about the projects inGarabagh. He pointed out that following the Patriotic War andanti-terror operation, Azerbaijan has full possession of its waterresources. He reminded that the water resources available inGarabagh and Eastern Zangezur constitute 25 percent of the countryand emphasized the importance of water resources in the liberatedterritories.

“The main feature of these water resources, their positiveside, is that they are generated thanks to internal sources, as you know, our main rivers originate abroad – the KuraRiver, the Araz River, and the Samur River. Our main rivers comefrom abroad, so this is of particular importance because the waterresources of Garabagh and Eastern Zangazur are internalsources,” President Ilham Aliyev said.

He said that the Kondalanchay reservoir in Fuzuli district willalso be opened in the near future; the construction of theZabukhchay reservoir is currently underway. The Sugovushanreservoir has almost been rebuilt, and one of the two canals comingout of that reservoir has already been completely repaired. ThePresident also heralded that other major irrigation projects areplanned in Garabagh and Eastern Zangezur. The construction of theHakarichay and Bargushadchay reservoirs and canals is also on theagenda.

“There will be many other projects, but they are smallerscope-wise. But every project is important, and Azerbaijan, whichhas limited water resources, will be fully self-sufficient in thisfield as well,” President Ilham Aliyev noted.

The most important project, that the President spoke, about isthe desalination of the Caspian Sea water. It is a totally newproject not only in Azerbaijan, but whole the region. Presidentnoted that after the implementation of this project, we will usethe water of the Caspian Sea for both irrigation and drinking.

Of course, all these projects are having and will have goodresults. Thanks to the said projects, new areas, which were usedneither during the Soviet nor Independence period, are plowed. Forexample, 4,000 hectares of grain were cultivated in the Hajigabulagricultural park. Besides, the productivity increased from threetons per hectare to seven tons.

As we told above, agriculture is a strategic sector in theeconomy because it provides people with food. All countries in theworld strive to be self-sufficient in terms of food. Azerbaijan hasdone great works in this regard. Today Azerbaijan is an exporter ofmany agricultural products. With the implementation of new projectsand full usage of the liberated territories, self-sufficiency willincrease further.

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