China assists in sericulture revival
As part of the implementation of the State Program of Azerbaijan on the development of cocoon and silk production for the period 2018-2025, one million mulberry seedlings were imported into Azerbaijan from the People's Republic of China.
Seedlings are shipped to 36 regions of the country, accompanied by a Chinese specialist, Sputnik Azerbaijan reported.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilham Guliyev said that seedlings are distributed free of charge by regions in accordance with received requests. In the pre-selected areas of the regions, planting of mulberry seedlings will be carried out using Chinese technology under the supervision of an expert invited specially from this country.
He noted that so far 3.5 million seedlings have been brought into the country, and this year 514 tons of cocoons have been collected. The delivery of new saplings of mulberry trees will make it possible to obtain a larger amount of cocoons due to the expansion and improvement of the food supply.
"Currently, negotiations are underway with representatives of the People's Republic of China to import 20,000 boxes of silkworm to Azerbaijan. As a result of the government’s attention to the industry, farmers receive sufficient additional income," the deputy minister said.
The first results of the State Program are already evident. If in 2015, a total of 236 kilograms of cocoons were collected in the country, in 2016 already 70.7 tons were produced, and in 2017 this figure reached 245.2 tons.
In accordance with the state program of cocoon and sericulture, it is envisaged to increase production in the industry to 6,000 tons of cocoons annually by 2025.
The history of sericulture in Azerbaijan dates back to almost 1,500 years.
When it comes to silk in Azerbaijan, the first place that comes to mind is the ancient city of Sheki, which once considered the largest center for the production of silk and silk farming in the Middle Ages.
Delicate fabrics, beautiful clothes, and colorful kelagayis (silk headscarf) manufactured by Sheki craftsmen from raw silk, were exported to foreign countries, so the city became famous for its silk throughout the world.
In the Soviet period, Azerbaijan ranked second after Uzbekistan for the production of silk cocoon but was considered first in fiber quality.
China became Azerbaijan’s fourth largest trading partner in 2017. Customs data of Azerbaijan estimated bilateral trade at a record close to $1.3 billion in 2017, that is 33 percent more compared to the previous year.
Exports increased by 63.75 percent to $443.8 million, and imports - by 21.4 percent to $854.5 million over the year.
The main goods exported from Azerbaijan to China last year were chemical products, fuel, plastic and products made of it.
Electrical devices, equipment and its spare parts, vehicles and spare parts, clothing and accessories, ceramic products, household items were imported from China to Azerbaijan over the past year.