Home / Economy / State programs implemented to boost production and exports of hazelnut in Azerbaijan

State programs implemented to boost production and exports of hazelnut in Azerbaijan

Although there is great potential for the export of processed hazelnuts in Azerbaijan, the country mainly exports shelled hazelnuts to the countries of the European Union and Russia. 60-70 percent of hazelnut production in Azerbaijan is organised by small farmers, and hazelnut orchards are a secondary source of income for them.

According to Azernews, this is stated in the report titled Green Energy Opportunities in the Hazelnut Value Chain in Azerbaijan of the Partnership and Coordination Office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Azerbaijan.

The report says that 95 percent of the production mainly falls in the Sheki-Zagatala region. This region has fertile land for the production of hazelnuts, and activities in these two regions strongly influence and shape the country’s hazelnut market. Besides, the hazelnut market in the country was less developed until 2015. Small entrepreneurs employed outdated methods in hazelnut cultivation, leading to subpar productivity.

In addition, the organisation of hazelnut processing in the country was lacking. State programs have been implemented to boost production and exports in this field. Hazelnut farming is considered a lucrative industry that can contribute to the country’s economy.

The document also mentions that not all hazelnuts produced in Azerbaijan go through every stage of the value chain.

“In 2021, 67,630 tons of hazelnuts were produced in the country, 56% of which were sold by farmers directly to processors, 22% were directed to the local market, and 12% used them themselves,” the report says.

It should be recalled that in the 11th month of 2023, Azerbaijan exported 21 thousand 382 tons of hazelnuts, the value of this amount of hazelnuts was 111 million 528 thousand US dollars. Compared to the same period in 2022, these are 2 thousand 391 tons ( 12.5% ) more in terms of volume and 14 million 43 thousand US dollars ( 14.4% ) more in terms of value. The total area of​​hazelnut orchards in 2021 was around 73.3 thousand hectares, of which 94 % is owned by farmers, and the remaining 6 %, i.e. 4.25 thousand hectares, belongs to commercial organizations.

About Fidan Abdullayeva