The agricultural sector in is one of the priority sectors of Azerbaijani economy as it involves around 40 percent of the Azerbaijani population and around 61 percent of Azerbaijan’s agricultural production is crop production. In the first half of 2019, the total agricultural production in the country increased by 13 percent compared to the same period last year, as per the Agriculture Ministry. Figures for crop production recorded a 25.6 percent growth, reaching $1.04 billion in monetary terms. Within the reporting period, 125,200 tons of fruits and berries, 54,800 tons of melons and gourds were grown in the country.
Azerbaijan imports tons of fruits and vegetables. The State Phytosanitary Control Service reported that the agricultural products imported are mainly apples, pears, pineapples, peanuts, almonds, bananas, nuts and kiwi. The main exporters are Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia. Azerbaijan has ambitious plans for pomegranate production. The Azerbaijan Pomegranate Manufacturers and Exporters Association reports that construction of a processing complex is planned for 2019-2021; it will cost about $15 million. The project is for the construction of two factories to produce pomegranate concentrate and juices and two further plants to shell and process seed.