Hazelnut is a traditional crop in Azerbaijan, and its production is dominated by smallholder farmers, who contribute with 60 to 70 percent of total annual production, Report informs, citing a working paper of the Project Coordination Office of the FAO in Azerbaijan on Hazelnut Sector in Azerbaijan – Options for Green Energy Interventions along the Value Chain.
“Until 2015, the hazelnut market was rather fragmented. Smallholders relied on manual labour and limited use of machinery, which was old and inefficient. This resulted in low yields and low profits. The processing industry was furthermore not well organized, and foreign middlemen had a strong presence in the market. The government adopted new programmes aiming to modernize hazelnut value chains and thus increase production and exports. Apart from direct support for the establishment of new orchards, the programmes included the development of educational materials and trainings in good agricultural practices for farmers,” the paper said.
According to the report, the total area of hazelnut orchards in 2021 was around 73.3 thousand ha, out of which 94 percent was owned by farmers (physical persons) and the remaining 6 percent, equivalent to 4.25 thousand ha, by commercial entities:
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