TODAY.AZ / Business

Azerbaijan not to have problems with grain

13 February 2007 [13:37] - TODAY.AZ
Azerbaijan has no problems with grain, nor is expected to have any, the republic's Minister of Agriculture Ismet Abbasov told reporters on Tuesday.

Commenting on claims by World Food Program experts that Azerbaijan may experience grain shortages in 2007, Abbasov emphasized that "such a problem does not exist."

At present, Baku is completing the construction of a large grain terminal with an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes, which subsequently will increase to 800,000 tonnes.

The facility, worth six million dollars, will be commissioned shortly. It is foremost intended for meeting Azerbaijan's demand for grain, which will be shipped from Kazakhstan by the Caspian Sea.

"Azerbaijan produces at least two million tonnes of grain a year; including 1.6 million tonnes of food grain," the Minister said.

He noted however, that the republic will continue to purchase grain in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, underlining that "corn and other kinds of fodder will be part of these procurements."

"We'll therefore build a sufficient stock of grain in 2007 and the coming years," according to Abbasov.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, Azerbaijan needs 3 to 3.2 million tonnes of grain a year. The procurements are handled solely by private companies.



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