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Azerbaijani President: This year, we have to further expand cotton fields

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Baku, January 13, AZERTAC

“This year, we have to further expand cotton fields. Whereas last year cotton was planted on an area of 51,000 hectares, we should plan it at least on 120,000 hectares this year,” said President Ilham Aliyev at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development of 2016 and objectives for the future.

The head of state said: “Last year was successful for the development of agriculture. I am very glad that we have been able to restore cotton production in Azerbaijan, as this sector experienced a decline for many years. The recovery process has already begun. We will return cotton growing its former glory. Although we were a bit late last year, we have achieved good results. If we compare it with 2015 when cotton was sown on an area of 18,000 hectares, we will see that in 2016 it was sown on 51,000 hectares. Whereas in 2015 we harvested 35,000 tons of cotton, last year the figure reached 90,000 tons. We have ambitious plans for this year. They will be reflected in the state investment program to be adopted in the near future. This year, we have to further expand cotton fields. Whereas last year cotton was planted on an area of 51,000 hectares, we should plan it at least on 120,000 hectares this year. This is a real figure. It may be slightly more or less, but we have to base their work around this figure.”

“We have taken all necessary measures. Equipment was purchased last year and will be purchased this year. The necessary agronomic measures are being taken. Water is supplied to new acreage. The Presidential Administration, local executive bodies, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Economy, reclamation and other structures have worked hard here. We expect even better results this year. Only within the framework of the project to be implemented this year, we plan to engage about 200,000 people. We have raised the subsidies and rates of those working in cotton fields. We will also provide employment. I should note that cotton-growing is currently being developed in 27 districts, and this year we expect to harvest about 200,000 tons of cotton and more,” the Azerbaijani President added.

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