Agrotourism Can Boost Azerbaijan's Tourist Flow With Russia's Bashkortostan (Exclusive Interview)

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 29. Agrotourism cancontribute to the increase in tourist flow between Azerbaijan andBashkortostan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture ofBashkortostan Ilshat Fazrakhmanov told Trend .

“In recent years, tourism in Russia, particularly in theRepublic of Bashkortostan, has been developing dynamically. In thearea related to agriculture, a direction called agrotourism hasappeared. Agrotourism holds great promise for the development ofrural areas, particularly by contributing to the socio-economicdevelopment of the regions, providing employment for the ruralpopulation, and increasing the volume of basic production andpersonal income of citizens. For the implementation of agrotourismprojects, the state allocates a grant of 3 to 10 million rubles,depending on the share of investment in the project of theapplicant's funds. You can use the funds to create touristaccommodation facilities, arrange and connect them to utilities,purchase tourist equipment, improve the territory, and pursue otherobjectives. Around the world, there is widespread interest in ruraltourism. Each country seeks to create its own model of ruraltourism development. I believe that agrarian tourism could act as atool to support the development of the territory by expanding thetourist flow between our republics,” he said.

According to him, Bashkortostan and Azerbaijan have close tradeand economic partnership relations in the implementation ofagricultural products.

"In 2023, Bashkortostan exported wheat, meslin, flour, andstrong alcoholic beverages to the Republic of Azerbaijan. The mostpopular exports from Bashkortostan to foreign markets also includesunflower oil and mixed fertilizers. From Azerbaijan, vegetablesand fruits (pomegranates, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) aresupplied to the Eurasia AgriPark (Ufa). Additionally, jams,jellies, marmalades, fruit and vegetable juices, and mineral waterwith added sugar are imported," he said.

Fazrakhmanov pointed out that, in order to strengthen anddevelop trade and economic relations, representatives ofBashkortostan participate in major exhibitions held in Azerbaijan example, Bashkortostan participated in an exposition at the25th Anniversary Azerbaijan International Food Industry Exhibition,WorldFood.

Speaking about the prospects for cooperation between theRepublic of Bashkortostan and Azerbaijan, the deputy prime ministerhighlighted that Bashkortostan sees further prospects forcooperation in the field of mutual supply of agriculturalproducts.

"During our visit to Azerbaijan in April of this year, wediscussed a wide range of issues with our colleagues. TheAzerbaijani side has shown interest in the experience ofBashkortostan in supporting agricultural cooperatives anddeveloping tourism service facilities with the involvement of smalland medium-sized enterprises.

We proposed implementing scientific developments fromBashkortostan's agricultural enterprises in Azerbaijan to ensurethe food security of the friendly state. We see further prospectsfor cooperation in the field of mutual supply of agriculturalproducts, as well as the export to Azerbaijan of fertilizers andagricultural machinery produced in Bashkortostan," he added.

The official also emphasized that, in modern realities, the useof technology and various innovations is an integral attribute ofany business sector, including agribusiness.

"Both in Bashkortostan and Azerbaijan, the agro-industrialcomplex is dynamic and developing, and farmers strive to useadvanced agricultural equipment and machinery. I am confident thatthere is much we can learn from each other and share experiences the visit of the Bashkir delegation, there was a meetingwith the leadership of the Center for Agrarian Innovations underthe Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan.

The center promotes and implements agrarian innovations,periodically demonstrating innovative advancements to farmers,including new technologies for tillage, new irrigation methods, andefficient planting methods. We are always ready to cooperate inthis direction, to inform farmers about new technologies, and tokeep up with the times," the minister of agriculture said.

Speaking about plans to expand the export of products fromBashkortostan to Azerbaijan, Fazrakhmanov pointed out thatBashkortostan's agro-export has great potential for a threefoldincrease.

"By the end of 2023, the volume of agro-industrial exports fromBashkortostan increased by 79 percent compared to the previousyear, with 747,800 tons of agricultural products shipped, totaling$338.6 million dollars. Bashkortostan hosts a genetic center forwaterfowl, with the entire country coming to the republic forbreeding stocks of geese and ducks.

In the region, we are developing crop production, and theproduction of grains and oilseeds. Two large Bashkir enterprisesproduce 450,000 tons of high-quality vegetable oil, which isactively supplied to China, India, and other countries. Bashkirhoney is a globally renowned product.

We produce it in volumes of 12 thousand tons, of which 6,000tons are marketable, and we can confidently increase volumes ifdemand rises. From the milk of Bashkir horses, we produce ahealthy, tasty, natural, medicinal drink called kumis. All theseproducts are already in demand on both domestic and internationalmarkets, and we'll expand the geography of our supplies," headded.

The deputy prime minister emphasized that Bashkortostan plans todevelop cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of beekeeping.

"This will also be expressed in the scientific and researchdirections. Our region has an autonomous non-profit organization,'Altyn Solok', which has the status of a breeding reproducer forthe mid-Russian breed of bees, and a unique molecular-genetictesting laboratory has been established under it.

The 'Altyn Solok' laboratory houses the largest DNA bank ofhoney bees in Russia, which is constantly replenished and updated, we can confidently collaborate with our Azerbaijanicolleagues in the field of bee breeding. We can also share ourexperience in combating bee diseases. We plan to establish closecooperation in this area in the near future," said theminister.

According to him, Bashkortostan has a Center for Export Support,which provides support to exporters and export-orientedenterprises.

"The Center for Export Support of Bashkortostan supportsexporters and export-oriented enterprises of Bashkortostan, helpingorganizations participate in exhibition and fair events andbusiness missions, assisting with placement on electronic tradingplatforms, and generally providing training in foreign economicactivities.

In addition, in Bashkortostan, it is possible to reimburse partof the costs associated with the certification of agro-industrialproducts in foreign markets, as well as part of the actual costsincurred by exporters when transporting their products to foreignmarkets," he concluded.

To note, the Azerbaijan-Bashkortostan business forum was held inBaku on April 24.

During his speech at the forum, the Deputy Prime Minister notedthat Bashkortostan hopes for long-term cooperation withentrepreneurs from Azerbaijan.

“In an effort to foster an environment where Azerbaijanientrepreneurs may thrive, we will extend an invitation to them tojoin forces with us,” he added.


Trend News Agency

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