"Cotton-growing plays an important role in development of agriculture, President Ilham Aliyev said at the republican conference on development of cotton-growing in Barda.
According to him, Azerbaijan paid special attention to cotton-growing in 1970-1980 and 22 percent of sowing areas was allocated for cotton-growing.
‘Of course, later on, we started to engage in food safety and sowing areas of cotton-growing declined. We’ll talk about this today. However, works done for cotton-growing during past two years show that this field has future. This is useful for farmers and country’, he said.
President said that when Heydar Aliyev came to power in 1969, cotton-growing was 300,000 tonnes: ‘This figure tripled in his period. In 1981 cotton production reached 1 million ton. After he left Azerbaijan, the field of cotton-growing began to collapse as other fields did and the cotton productiono fell to 500,000 tonnes in 1990. In the years of independence, the cotton plants were about to face destruction. Of course, we must admit that we had not enough financial opportunities in the first years of independence. Azerbaijan was in very severe situation. Particularly, our country was about to collapse as a result of treacherous activity of antinational APF-Musavat couple. Inexperienced people who had come to power knew nothing about economy and no work was done for development of agriculture. Generally, Azerbaijan was not able to develop due to anarchy, chaos. But after 1993 – when Heydar Aliyev came to power – all fields, including agriculture started to develop. I think that the most important decision on development of agriculture was exemption of rural workers from taxes. At the same time, there were many problems during the first years of the independence and paying attention to cotton-growing was not priority. The country had faced serious challenges, there were dangers. All priorities were restoration of stability, involvement of investments, and successful implementation of oil strategy for comprehensive development of the country’.