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Azerbaijan can regain status of flower exporter

Thursday, December 15
Azerbaijani forests are a rich source of biodiversity and habitat to a number of rarest species of flora.

Because Azerbaijan is home to almost all climate types, the country has every opportunity for its flower industry to thrive, according to AzerNews.

The government decided to direct look at the once developing and flourishing sector of the country -- floral industry.

The flower trade is now a major industry in both developing and developed countries, with global trade estimated to be worth many billions of dollars a year.

During the Soviet period, Azerbaijan played an important role in supplying Moscow and St. Petersburg with flowers, especially in the pre-holiday season; flowers grown in Baku and Azerbaijanís villages were frequently exported to Russia. Indeed, until the 1990s, Azerbaijan was the main exporter of carnations (dianthus) to Russia.

Unfortunately, after gaining independence Azerbaijan ceased its flower production, ultimately losing its traditional markets. Azerbaijan has in fact turned from an exporter to an importer of flowers.

However, experts believe that Azerbaijan has the potential to develop its flower business again. Azerbaijan has excellent climate conditions for the cultivation of flowers, including long daylight hours, climate diversity and a rich soil. The country has also an affordable work force.

The industry can meet the demand of the local market, but also set up exports of flowers, and the country is actively working to make the first step towards this target.

A flower processing plant will be built in Azerbaijan's Zagatala region under the presidential instructions to ensure effective use of economic potential of the country's regions and develop traditional industries.

The plant will be built as part of the measures to develop flower growing industry in Zagatala. The measures also include the establishment of a flower plantation covering a total area of 100 hectares.

Nearly 250,000 rose seeds were delivered from Bulgaria, and nearly 150,000 seeds have already been planted in the plantation in a total area of 50 hectares.

Local farmers expect to harvest 500 tons of flower petals per year from the plantation in several years. Flower oil to be produced at the plant will be used in food, cosmetology and pharmaceutical industry.

Roses are of special interest in Azerbaijan and these flowers are rearing up in a number of greenhouse complexes.

Roses have been cultivated in Azerbaijan for a long time. Only the Central Botanical Garden of ANAS has collected more than 1,000 species and varieties of roses. In hot climates it is difficult to grow and maintain these capricious plants; roses love sunshine and a lot of moisture at the same time. Having long and rich experience in the field of roses Central Botanical Garden possesses one of the largest collections of roses in the South Caucasus.

The Zagatala region was famed for its roses in the Soviet period; with 150 hectares of land, rose production produced about 500 tons of flower petals annually. In addition, essential oils of roses were used in the perfume industry, and were sold on external markets.

The Zagatala plant has a small production capacity now producing only 20-25 tons of rose petals per year. Unfortunately, toughening requirements on the world market have resulted in stiff competition, thus complicating production and the sale of essential oils.

Today, Azerbaijan imports the bulk portion of its roses from the Netherlands, and seeds are mainly imported from Turkey and Italy.

Flowers will always be the dream gift for most women. Bakuís visitors walking around the city frequently come across young girls and women carrying flowers in their hands. It would be actually impossible to miss the quite pretty flower shops spread across the city, dotting the urban set-up with explosions of colors and alluring scents, flowers remain the go-to present for many occasions.

They are so important to Azerbaijan that there is even a Flower Day inscribed on the calendar. Every year in May, the country gathers its most beautiful flowers and puts them on display for all to see. (News.az)