Cotton Instead of Meat and Milk?
2017 July 25 ( Tuesday ) 12:51:06
Baku / 25.07.17 / Turan: Expansion of cotton crop areas due to natural meadows and pastures put local cattlemen in a desperate situation. Due to the reduction in the fodder base, domestic production of meat and milk is rapidly falling, giving way to imports of overseas products. Consumer prices are growing.
"Speaking at a government meeting on the results of socio-economic development in the first half of 2017 and forthcoming tasks, the President announced several interesting figures. In particular, he said that cotton and fiber exports increased 154% and 650% respectively. I, in turn, would also like to draw attention to data that may be of interest to the public. This should be interesting, including entrepreneurs and government officials. The fact is that over the last two years, natural meadows, pastures and clover fields, which are in use by villagers and farmers, have been transferred to cotton crops for municipalities and local executive authorities. Faced with a shortage of fodder and hay, a forced mass slaughter of livestock began in farms. Subsequently, the domestic production of meat and milk decreased sharply, and the import of these products sharply increased," Vahid Maharramov, head of the agricultural department of the Center for Economic Research, said.
As a result, foreign exchange earnings from cotton exports increased to $ 32.4 million, but for the import of dairy and meat products, three times more foreign currency was exported - $ 107.3 million. It is noteworthy that in the reporting period last year, when foreign exchange earnings from cotton exports increased to $ 19 million, the cost of imports of meat and dairy products doubled - to $ 38.8 million. "Taking into account long-term plans for the development of cotton growing, foreign exchange reserves will continue to melt rapidly," the expert concluded.
Despite the impressive increase in imports, official sources say that in the first half of the year, livestock production increased by 2.6%. In January-June, the republic produced 237.8 thousand tons of meat (2.9% growth), 1 million 3.5 thousand tons of milk (an increase of 0.8%), and 879.4 million eggs (an increase of 6% , 7%), reports the State Statistics Committee.
From this point of view, the data of the State Statistics Committee for June this year are also interesting, according to which the growth of acreage for spring crops was generally achieved due to an increase in cotton crops. So, this year 435.7 thousand hectares were planted under spring crops, compared with 359.5 thousand hectares last year. At the same time, the increase in acreage by almost 84 thousand hectares was mainly achieved due to the expansion of cotton crops from 50.9 thousand hectares last year to 134.58 thousand hectares in January-May this year. The area under cotton crops in January - May this year increased by 2.6 times to last year, tobacco - 148%, and sugar beet - 2 times. In the meantime, the potato crop areas were reduced by 96.5%, and the area of root crops decreased from 165 to 12 hectares.
|January - May||January - May 2017 in comparison with January - May 2016 (%)|
|Including grain and leguminous crops (maize)||32,515.6||23,201.9||140.1|
|Maize (in general)||35,099.4||35,351.8||99.3|
|Sugar beet (for processing)||13,818.1||6,757.5||2.0 times|
|Food root crops||12.0||165.0||13 times|
|Other spring crops||6,982.7||2,084.5||3.4 times|