WorldFood Azerbaijan / Ipack Caspian 2018Food, Food Processing, Packaging
Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy in Azerbaijan. Currently, the agricultural sector employs around 36.4% of the active labor force of the country. The fertile lands, abundance of water and climatic diversity create favorable foundation for ever-strengthening agro-sector. Presence of nine climatic zones allows the country to produce a variety of agricultural products and brings about new opportunities for coming up with different types of goods. As one of the leading agro-food producers in the whole CIS, Azerbaijan seeks to further develop its agriculture and food industry for import substitution purposes in parallel with enhancement of export capabilities.
Azerbaijan has 4.8 million hectares of agricultural land or over 50% of its total territory. Almost 39.6% of it is arable. Crop production accounts for around 49% of agricultural production, whereas livestock farming makes up the remaining 51%. The food-processing sector constitutes an important component of the national economy and accounts for over 38% of total manufacturing industry. Azerbaijan trades intensively with the CIS, which is traditionally the main destination and the largest consumer of agriculture and food exports from Azerbaijan. However, in recent years foreign market scale has expanded to include many other countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas as well. The main export products are fresh vegetables and fruits, vegetable and animal oils, sugar products, tea, processed vegetables and fruits, beverages, tobacco products, cotton and others.
Consumption of agricultural goods and food products in many categories has grown by more than 50% in the last ten years. In some categories, this figure reaches around 200%. Domestic production of the main food products has, nevertheless, fallen resulting in shortage of meeting market demand. In order to decrease the dependence of the domestic food market on imported products and generate reliable food reserves, the government has taken a number of measures to improve the business and investment climate by stimulating producers, providing subsidies, and establishing a firm institutional and economic basis for further development.