The situation in the food market is depressing - the expert
2017 May 10 ( Wednesday ) 16:27:10
Baku / 10.05.17 / Turan: The reason for the high cost in the food market of Azerbaijan in low production and monopolies, said the head of the NGO "Support for Agrarian Reforms" Vahid Maharramov in the interview to the program "Cenin sual" "Difficult issue" of Turan agency. The market already has fresh vegetables, in particular potatoes and greenhouse products, but prices do not fall. A kilo of potatoes is sold not less than 1.5 manats, while last year at this time prices were 70% lower. Tomatoes and cucumbers cost twice as much as a year ago, "he said.
According to the expert, this means that there is no significant supply in the market, but there is a reduction in production. Even the return to the country of 200 trucks with vegetables not allowed in the Russian Federation did not affect prices, he said.
All this happens against the backdrop of the government's declarations on the allocation of subsidies and soft loans to entrepreneurs. However, not all subsidies reach manufacturers with low labor productivity.
So, if 700-1000 tons of vegetables are harvested from 1 hectare in the Stavropol region, then in Azerbaijan the productivity is 10 times lower.
The first condition for food security is the production of products in the amount of the needs of the population. Thus, Azerbaijan imports 1.5 million tons of grain, and this is almost the entire volume of the country's needs.
If the demand for milk in the amount of 360 liters per person per year, in the country due to both imports and local production consumption is only 280 liters. The demand for meat is 84 kg., and due to imports and local production, the consumption level is only 33 kg. Due to this imbalance, the quality of the products is not ensured. So in deficit conditions, low-quality products are in demand. So the country imports 4-5 kinds of grades. At the same time, food products are more expensive in Azerbaijan than in neighboring countries.
Another problem, the lack of sustainable production. And this despite the fact that only 50.7 billion manat was spent on regional development programs in recent years. Despite the allocation of subsidies for 80 million manats for grain production, the country continues to import it. At the same time, the statistical data is at variance with the realities. It is said that last year Azerbaijan produced 3 million tons of grain and 1.8 million of wheat, that is almost twice as much as consumption.
Then why one and a half million tons of grain was imported? After all, so much is needed to meet the needs of the population.
The figure of 3 million tons of grain causes doubts also because in the country there are no warehouses for storage of such volume of production. Therefore, the expert considers the official statistical data to be too high. In his opinion, this is done to justify the allocation of subsidies to the agricultural sector, which simply squandered.
Maharramov doubts the allegations about the elimination of monopolies in imports. If so, the potatoes on the market would cost not AZN 1.5, but AZN 0.5, as in neighboring countries. The same goes for meat and milk.
Maharramov is also skeptical about the road map for the development of the agrarian sector, announced by the authorities. This document contains many contradictions. So, on the one hand, it is indicated that fertilizer use will be increased by 20%, which will give 20% increase in production. At the same time, it is said that fertilizer applications for ecological balance will be reduced by 20%.
The statement that the increase by 20% the feed production will give the same amount of meat and milk production, they say.
Without the development of agrarian science, a breakthrough will not be achieved. The producers themselves do not have the relevant knowledge. So, out of 870.000 families that received land as a result of land reform, 90% do not have the relevant knowledge. Earlier manufacturers worked under instructions of agronomists and livestock specialists, and now such specialists are few. It is necessary to develop agrarian science, train qualified personnel, the development of production on a scientific basis, noted Maharramov.-03I06--