The measure is expected to assist local potato farmers
The Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan have increased the customs duty on imported potatoes from 15 to 30 per cent. This was done in order to protect the interests of local farmers who grow and sell potatoes.
Head of Information and Public Relations at the Ministry of Agriculture Anar Huseynov says the new tariff was set in response to Azerbaijani farmers who complained that the demand for their own goods had been falling due to imports.
However, agricultural analyst Vahid Maharramli believes that the new tariffs will affect consumers the most. Imported potatoes will now cost more, and the population’s purchasing power, which is already not too strong, will weaken.
According to official data, about 161 thousand tonnes of potatoes were imported to Azerbaijan in 2017. The potatoes were mainly imported from Russia, Iran, Turkey and Belarus.
In Azerbaijan, about 913 thousand tonnes of potatoes were harvested last year. The Gedabey, Dashkesan, Tovuz and Jalilabad regions specialise in its cultivation.
Most of the needs of the Azerbaijani population are met by local suppliers when it comes to this product. But, as Vahid Maharramli told the Mirror portal, the costs of growing and transporting Azerbaijani potatoes have increased recently. This increases the cost of the product, and local potatoes can no longer compete against imported ones.