June 16th, 2017

Agribusiness, Land & Trade in Azerbaijan

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a small country located in the southern Caucasus region and bordering the Caspian Sea. A former republic of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan attained its independence in 1991 when it transitioned to a democratic government and a market economy. Nevertheless, the country still has some level of authoritarian governance and corruption, has several state-owned companies that manage its major natural resources, and deals with foreign meddling in its domestic affairs. Geographically, Azerbaijan is dominated by mountains in the north and vast lowlands throughout. Similarly, the neighboring Republic of Armenia divides the bulk of the national territory of Azerbaijan, from its exclave autonomous region of Naxcivan to the west. Currently, the country has a total territory of almost 87.000 square kilometers, which is somewhat smaller than Maine. Likewise, Azerbaijan has a total population of approximately 10 million citizens, about 55% of which live in an urban setting, notably the capital city of Baku with some 2.4 million inhabitants. The country’s national annual gross domestic product (GDP) is approximately US$160 billion. However, the country has experienced sluggish and even negative economic growth in recent years. The Azerbaijani economy is divided into 7% agriculture, 50% manufacturing, and 43% services. Similarly, the agricultural industry employs 37% of the national labor force, while manufacturing employs 14% and services employ another 49%. Meanwhile, the agriculture industry only utilizes 58% of the national territory, while another 11% is forested.

Agribusiness, Land & Trade in Azerbaijan

In terms of natural resources, Azerbaijan has petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, and bauxite. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on petroleum & natural gas processing, oilfield equipment, steel, cement, chemicals & petrochemicals, and textiles. Meanwhile, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products fruit, vegetables, grain, rice, grapes, tea, cotton, tobacco, cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. In terms of trade, Azerbaijan belongs to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) alongside eight other Eurasian nations as well as the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development alongside Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova. Nevertheless, the country’s major trade partners are Russia, Turkey, the European Union, the United States, and Israel, amongst others. Furthermore, during 2015, Azerbaijan’s exports totaled US$16.9 billion and its imports came up to US$11.1 billion, resulting in an overall trade surplus of US$5.8 billion.

In Azerbaijan, unfortunately, about 500.000 people suffer from undernourishment. Likewise, in recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin in the country has been of 28 grams daily. Meanwhile, cereals, roots, and tubers supply 63% of the average food energy intake in Azerbaijan. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in the country has evolved throughout the last few decades. Back in 1992, permanent pastures and meadows in Azerbaijan covered little over 2.4 million hectares, while arable land covered 1.7 million hectares and permanent crops accounted for 310.000 hectares. More recently, by 2014, permanent pastures and meadows had increased to 2.6 million hectares, while arable land represented more than 1.9 million hectares and permanent crops covered some 233.000 hectares. Meanwhile, in 1992, the cereals market in Azerbaijan utilized little over 626.000 hectares of land and yielded approximately 1.3 million metric tons annually. Finally, in 2014, the country devoted 980.000 hectares of land to cereals production and yielded over 2.3 million metric tons.

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