CHANGES IN THE SECTORAL STRUCTURE OF AGRICULTURE IN THE SHEKI-ZAGATALA ECONOMIC REGION AND THE PROBLEMS OF ENSURING FOOD SECURITY
Low productivity and weak material and technical basis prevent the satisfaction of the domestic demand for agricultural products, especially grains. There are some problems in the country’s nutrition security, which Sheki-Zagatala economic region is also included as an important agricultural region of the country. Specialized branches of the economic region include the cultivation of grain and fruit crops and livestock. Changes in the sectoral structure of agriculture is virtually observed over all regions of the country as well as Sheki-Zagatala economic region located in the north-west of the country. The region occupies 8.84 thousand km2 or 10.2% of the country’s territory, where 606.1 thousand people live, or 6.3% of the country’s population. Rural population mainly prevails here. Their number at the beginning of January 2016 amounted to 435.3 thousand people, or 71.8% of the population. For conducting agricultural activities Ganikh-Agrichai depression Adzhinourskoe foothills and southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus are suitable. The main branches of agriculture are grain growing, fruit growing, viticulture, cattle breeding in the meat and dairy industry and meat-shearing sheep breeding. In the past, the region was more known because of the production of tobacco, sericulture. Nowadays, the leading place is occupied by cereals and fruit crops in the structure of sown areas. Main branch of specialization traditionally was fruit growing in the agriculture of the economic region. There are favorable conditions for the cultivation of nut-fruit fruits – walnut, chestnut and walnut (hazelnut) in the region. Befores viticulture is not considered a specialized branch of the economic region, but the area of grape plantations is recently increasing. Productivity of crops increased due to reducing the role of tobacco growing. This industry was once considered one of the main sub-sectors of agriculture. In 2008, the country adopted a “State Program on Sustainable provision of population of Azerbaijan with foodstuffs”.
Key words: agriculture, natural and geographical conditions, agroclimatic resources, economic region, structure of agriculture, employment, agrarian reforms, food security, specialization
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