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WB: Azerbaijan should make greater use of digital technologies in agriculture.

By Rashid Shirinov

Azerbaijan should make more active use of digital technologies in agriculture, Julian Lampietti, agriculture global practice manager at the World Bank (WB), said on June 25.

He made the remarks during joint discussions with the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of Azerbaijan on the topic "Rural Area and Agriculture Development."

Lampietti noted that the development of agriculture may be a great opportunity for the economy of Azerbaijan, since this sphere is very important for reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth. It is especially important to develop such areas as the production of fruits, milk and meat, which have high added value and play an important role in increasing exports and diversifying the economy, he added.

The WB representative also said that the main challenges facing the economy of Azerbaijan today are low yields, concentration of exports in very narrow markets and low penetration of technologies into agriculture.

"The total production potential of Azerbaijan in agriculture is $1.1 billion, whereas today the country uses nearly half of this potential. Another negative indicator is the fact that 77 percent of Azerbaijan's agricultural product exports accounts for Russia, Lampietti noted, adding that therefore, it is necessary to think about new markets.

He also stressed that the development of technologies will allow Azerbaijan to triple the yield indicators.

"We believe that technologies, and especially digital technologies, will ensure the development of the agricultural sector in the future. Therefore, we advise Azerbaijan to implement new technologies more actively, and the WB is ready to continue supporting the Azerbaijani government in this sphere," Lampietti said.

Azerbaijan joined the World Bank in 1992. Over the years of cooperation, the WB has supported the country to implement economic reforms, re-build its infrastructure and improve its social services.

Founded in 1944, the World Bank has 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and over 130 offices. Today the Bank'swork touches nearly every sector that is important to fighting poverty, supporting economic growth, and ensuring sustainable gains in the quality of people's lives in developing countries.

Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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Publication:Azer News (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Geographic Code:9AZER
Date:Jun 25, 2018
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