Azerbaijan to Spend $ 118 Million on Purchase of Agricultural Machinery in 2017

"By order of large enterprises, including enterprises engaged in the production of cotton, in 2017 it is planned to purchase 5,602 units of agricultural machinery. On its purchase, it is planned to spend $ 101,415,050 and 14.2 million EUR," the materials of the monitoring over the implementation of measures reflected in the Strategic Roadmap for the production and processing of agricultural products say. In particular, this year it is planned to purchase 150 cotton harvesters and 1,270 different tractors.

In addition, in 2017, 59 cotton harvesters JD 9970 will be delivered to Azerbaijan. "The total cost of this equipment will be $ 17.58 million. The contract for its delivery was concluded as early as 2016," the materials emphasize.

Meanwhile, according to expert estimates, cotton yields will not significantly affect the welfare of the population. "According to official data as of October 2 of this year, the points for the reception of raw cotton received 54,000 tons from the producers. Taking into account the unstable weather conditions, less productivity is expected - in total up to 85,000. This is at best. The cost price of each ton of cotton is approximately 400 - 450 dollars with the sale at a price of 700 - 750 dollars. It turns out that the companies will earn a maximum of $ 25 million, and this is not correlated with reports on the export paradise, with slave, sometimes forced labor of cotton growers. The budget will receive about 6 million dollars, and after all, food prices have already risen by 15%, and by the new year, according to tradition, there will be an even greater spiral of prices," the economist Natig Jafarli said.

He also cited the example of 2004, when 196,000 tons of cotton was harvested in Azerbaijan, which was a record harvest of recent years. "But did this figure affect the budget, or the well-being of citizens or the state? And if not, what will the benefit of the harvest of 80,000 - 85,000 tons of cotton be like?" the expert asks. Moreover, experts insist that the increased attention of the state to the development of traditional branches of agriculture, in particular, cotton growing, should not create problems for animal husbandry. The fact is that over the past two years, natural meadows, pastures and clover fields, which are in use by villagers and farmers, have been transferred to cotton crops for municipalities and local executive authorities. Faced with a shortage of fodder and hay, a forced mass slaughter of livestock began in farms. Subsequently, the domestic production of meat and milk decreased sharply, and the import of these products sharply increased," Vahid Maharramov, head of the agricultural department of the Economic Research Center, said.

The fact that the rise in price of meat was caused by the fall in domestic production as a result of the transfer of natural pastures for sowing "priority" crops was confirmed by meat sellers in a conversation with the editorial staff. In the opinion of the sellers, because of the rise in price of feed, prices will continue to grow.

Due to the reduction in the fodder base, domestic production of meat and milk is rapidly falling, giving way to overseas products. Consumer prices are growing, Maharramov said. So, according to the State Customs Committee, for eight months of this year, shipments of meat from abroad increased to 28,249.8 tons, which in monetary terms is 42 million 979 thousand dollars. For comparison, in the same period last year, meat imports were at the level of 16,920.19 tons (20 million 375.73 thousand dollars). A similar situation exists with foreign milk supplies - in the first eight months of this year, 5,364.93 tons of milk was imported for 8 million 589.91 thousand dollars, while last year for the same time period 3,479.27 tons of this product was imported for 5 million 193.17 USD, which means increase by one and a half times.

The growth of imports is a consequence of a fall in domestic production, which provokes price increases. So, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, the cost of beef starts from 11 manat per kilogram, and mutton starts from 12 manat, but this is the lower price limit. In Azerbaijan, meat has become the most expensive in the region, which forces the population of the regions bordering Russia to go to neighboring Dagestan to buy food, local media write.

According to expert estimates, the decline in domestic production of meat and dairy products with subsequent increase in imports leads to an outflow of currency from the country. -0-

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