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Azerbaijan pins hope on revival of cotton sector
26
Sep '16
In the midst of economic problems, Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev has pinned hopes on revival of the cotton sector to bring the country's revenue back on track. Large decline in oil prices, cuts in public investment, currency depreciations, and the slowdown in trading partners' economies have all affected the economy of the former Soviet republic.
 
Stating that higher cotton yields were urgently needed to replenish Azerbaijan's greatly diminished state coffers, Aliyev has issued an order on government support to boost cotton-growing in the country.
 
As per the order, the government will give AZN 0.1 ($0.6) subsidy to cotton manufacturers for each kilogram of cotton sold to the processing enterprises. This subsidy would be available only for raw cotton produced in 2016 and sold to processing enterprises.
 
Further rules on giving subsidies would be decided by the Cabinet, Azerbaijani media reported.
“More than 200,000 tons of cotton will be produced next year… If all instructions are fulfilled and it should be, that in 2017 we will be able to produce 250,000 and even 300,000 tons of cotton,” Aliyev said at a meeting on the development of cotton production in Sabirabad region.
 
In 1970, cotton was sown on 190,000 hectares in Azerbaijan, which increased to 305,000 hectares in 1982. However, this area decreased to 18,700 hectares last year. This year the area has increased to 52,000 hectares.
 
The president hoped that the area under cotton would swell to 128,000 hectares next year, yielding at least 250,000 tons of cotton.
 
In addition to cotton subsidies, the government would invest around $100 million to build textile plants that can use raw cotton and wool and turn them into finished products. The investment would mainly be in the city of Ganja and the Mingachevir Region.
 
The increase in cotton production is expected to raise employment levels and facilitate the flow of foreign currency into the country, benefiting both people and the government. (RKS)
 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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