Azerbaijan has a population of more than 9 million people. The agriculture and food sector in Azerbaijan has seen a sharp decline from 20% of gross national product in 2001 to less than 6% in 2014.
A major cause has been the low priority given to the agriculture sector as the nation focused on the rapid expansion of its petroleum operations. Severe land degradation in the country is another big challenge that has compromised crop yields by 20-30%. Azerbaijan is now working to intensify knowledge transfer on research and innovations for sustainable agriculture development, and greater food security.
Agricultural production focuses on the following food crops: wheat, potato, barley, maize and apple.
14-16% of the food energy consumed in Azerbaijan comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere on the planet. There are 13,927 crop varieties in collections of crop diversity found in Azerbaijan compared to the more than 700,000 found in the international collections of crop diversity supported by the Crop Trust.