Salyan, September 3, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has viewed cotton plantations in Salyan.
The head of state met with cotton growers here.
President Ilham Aliyev said:
- In the 1970s, one million tons of cotton were picked every year. People were satisfied and the work went well. Cotton growers earned good money. Then a gradual decline began. Only 30,000 tons of cotton were picked last year. A new program is being implemented in 24 districts now, including the expansion of cotton plantations in Salyan District. Whereas in 2015 there were 400 hectares of cotton plantations in Salyan, now an area of 2,200 hectares is sown with cotton. Next year these plantations will be increased to 7,000 hectares. All these areas are new. This used to be saline land. As a result of the measures taken, these 120 hectares are now sown with cotton. The collection will start in a few days.
The government is now buying new machinery. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on this to expand the work, ensure the development of our country and create new jobs. Numerous jobs are created on cotton fields. Two people on average work on each hectare. Next year, at least 14,000 people will work on 7,000 hectares. They will earn money, improve their own financial situation and contribute to the development of our country and our common cause.
Those working in these fields should have good conditions. There is a field camp here. Of course, we need to create all the conditions for cotton growers and provide for water and food. During the great leader’s visits to the districts in the 1970s, I was there too. I remember the meetings he held in field camps.
Cotton grower: I remember that too. I am a living witness of those meetings.
President Ilham Aliyev: Did you work at that time?
Woman cotton growers: Yes I did. It was 1972 and I was in the fifth grade. When the late great leader came to our village, I was on the site along with farmers. He shook my hand. The Almighty has given me this happiness. Then the great leader patted me on the head and said: "My daughter, tell me who you will become when you grow up?". I replied: "A cotton grower". "Well done, my daughter," he said and patted me on the shoulder. May the Almighty rest the soul of our great leader. Dear Mr. President, you are his worthy successor. May the Almighty grant you good health. Continuing his path, do pay a lot of attention to cotton growing. The people of Salyan have jobs. Everybody works, earns money and provides for their families. The general well-being has improved and we all live quite well. Thank you very much for that. May the Almighty grant you good health and a long life. May Allah protect your children.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. We have increased the purchase price of cotton for people working in these fields to make more money. The conditions should also be good. We have handed out uniforms. All the conditions of your work should be good. Is there one team working here?
Head of the executive authority Sevindik Hatamov: There are several teams. Mr. President, some have been promised to go to a resort after the completion of work.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, you have to recognize those working well, maybe pay an additional bonus. Let me shake your hand. You have met my father and now let me meet you too.
Cotton growers: May the Almighty grant you good health and a long life. We are a family. You are the head of our Azerbaijan. We live in peace and tranquility.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. I wish you all good health.
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Then a picture was taken.
Then President Ilham Aliyev reviewed a cotton field and talked with cotton growers again.
President Ilham Aliyev: You have a uniform. You are provided with everything. In those years, cotton ripened quickly and the gathering began in September.
Head of a farm: After your order, we put these lands into circulation. These lands were completely saline and were in poor condition.
President Ilham Aliyev, picking up a piece of cotton, said: This is the first harvest.
Women cotton growers: You have a lucky touch, inshaAllah.
President Ilham Aliyev: And what is the quality?
Head of a farm: It is very good. Fiber length is 32.5 mm. We used to have other varieties - «Agdash», "30-38", "S-47". The best for processing is "white gold". It is raw cotton. Dear Mr. President, fiber output was 26-27 per cent before. Currently, it is 40-41 per cent. Moreover, this is a third type, i.e. it is soft.
President Ilham Aliyev: So it is intended for exports?
Head of a farm: Yes, for exports. Unlike previous ones, this is very high-quality cotton.
President Ilham Aliyev: What is the expected yield per hectare?
Head of a farm: We expect a yield of more than 25 quintals. If we had sown in time, we could have reached even 30-35 quintals of cotton. But we were late. After your order, we worked day and night, ran water here from a distance of over 18 kilometers and installed 15 units in a short time. We have established a duiker, an aqueduct, locks, bridges and three pumps in the main area. From a distance of 5 kilometers, we stretched a 10-kilovolt overhead power line. We have built a substation to provide water. Next year there will be pilot irrigation systems installed here. This will lead to a yield of 40-45 quintals.
President Ilham Aliyev: The systems have been ordered and will be delivered soon. Yields will be further increased.
Head of a farm: Thank you. May Allah be pleased with you!
President Ilham Aliyev: Were these lands seeded in Soviet times as well?
Head of a farm: No, there have never been crops here. It was saline land in poor condition. We have done a lot of work here in a short time.
President Ilham Aliyev: Is there a lot of saline land here? How many hectares?
Cotton growers: A lot, we have 18,000 hectares of saline land.
President Ilham Aliyev: If work is done on these lands, can they also be put into circulation. The same situation is observed on the opposite side of the road.
Head of a farm: InshaAllah, we will put them into circulation too.
President Ilham Aliyev: This is called "white gold".
Cotton growers: Yes, Mr. President, I want to say a few words. We are people of the nation. Everyone appreciates your steadfastness, dedication and the work you do for the good of our people and our homeland. Everyone prays for you. And so do we.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you. I am very pleased that in a short term, in a matter of a few months, we were able to do this job. Local executive bodies have worked well. The Presidential Administration has assumed most of the burden and we managed to do the job. Look how beautiful it is. Next year there will be 7,000 hectares, and then work will go even faster. I must keep this cotton as first yield.
Head of Economy: This is the yield of the land which was sown on your instructions.
President Ilham Aliyev: I have picked it myself.
Cotton growers: God bless you. We wish you a long life. Thanks to you, Azerbaijan lives in peace and prosperity.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you very much. I wish you every success.