Azerbaijan: A New Barley-Processing Plant to Be Built
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Azerbaijan cultivates Barley on over 300,000 hectares. Aran is the country’s major Barley-producing region (50% of total Barley production), followed by Daglig-Shirvan (8%) and Ganja-Qazakh (8%). In 2020, Azerbaijan imported Barley worth $10.5 million, becoming the 46th largest importer of Barley in the world. Azerbaijan imports Barley primarily from: Russia ($9.85 million), Kazakhstan ($343k), Turkey ($200k), and Austria ($64.4k),
According to its nutritional value, Barley plays an important role in ensuring the republic’s dynamic development of cattle breeding and its solid fodder base. About 95.8-98.8% of Barley grain produced in the country have been used as fodder for cattle breeding. A high yield of Barley and wheat varieties brought from France was recorded in Azerbaijan’s Khachmaz district in 2020. Foreign varieties selected due to high yield and resistance to changes in weather conditions were initially planted on the fields of a joint Azerbaijani-Turkish seed-growing and research enterprise, where a test planting of two varieties of soft wheat and one grade of Barley suitable for brewing was carried out on 100 hectares.
Specialists from the Azerbaijan Scientific-Research Institute of Crop Husbandry, the Scientific-Research Institute of Fruit Growing and Tea Growing, as well as the Guba Regional Agrarian Science and Innovation Center, inspected the cultivated areas, which revealed that the average Barley yield per hectare in the cultivation areas of the Ramata variety reached 53 centners per hectare. For comparison, the average Barley yield is about 30 centners, and the average wheat yield in the Khachmaz district is 30-40 centners per hectare. The yield of wheat varieties brought from France exceeded 60 centners per hectare.
Investment for Barley in Azerbaijan
Carlsberg Group, which has a brewery in Azerbaijan, plans to launch a Barley-processing plant in the republic in January 2024, Cees ‘t Hart, President and CEO of Carlsberg Group, said in a statement. Cees ‘t Hart noted that localizing the processing of Barley used in producing beer in the country would increase to 100% shortly.
During the conversation, it was emphasized that the new plant, which will process Barley used in the production of beer in Azerbaijan, would start operating in January 2024. In addition, Carlsberg Group plans further investments in Azerbaijan. Carlsberg Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan’s Economy Ministry in 2021, according to which the company will invest more than 25 million manat, $14.7 million, in developing production in 2021-2025. The official exchange rate on January 18, 2023, was 1.70 manat/$1.
The Carlsberg Azerbaijan brewery is located in Khirdalan, 10 kilometers from Baku. Carlsberg’s investments in Azerbaijan have totaled 160 million manats. The enterprise has a production capacity of eight million decaliters per year. Carlsberg Azerbaijan has around a 75% market share in the local production of beer.
Carlsberg Azerbaijan launched the production of Xırdalan beer from local Barley for the first time. The company pioneered brewing beer from the malting Barley cultivated locally in Sep 2021. Lars Lehmann, Carlsberg Group Executive Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe, said that Barley grown in Azerbaijan met all the company’s standards. He emphasized the importance of the raw material base localization project, noting that it was a successful experience in increasing investment attractiveness in Azerbaijan.
Vyacheslav Maltsev, Carlsberg Azerbaijan Managing Director, stated that the company was working with partners to localize Barley and other raw materials used in the brewing industry. Carlsberg Azerbaijan and AzerSeker launched a pilot project to localize Barley in 2019. Based on the laboratory studies, the sown areas were expanded in the last few years.
Other sources: AGRO.GOV
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