Azerbaijan President Inaugurates Country's Largest Olive Mill

The country's largest mill has been built ahead of an anticipated boom in table olive and olive oil production.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (Photo Presidency Azerbaijan)
By Paolo DeAndreis
Nov. 10, 2022 15:31 UTC

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the open­ing cer­e­mony of the coun­try’s largest table olive and olive oil mill ear­lier this month.

Operated by the Absheron Olive Gardens, the mill was opened in the coun­try’s most pro­duc­tive olive-grow­ing region ahead of an antic­i­pated boom in pro­duc­tion.

We plan to make max­i­mum use of unused land for olive pro­duc­tion, espe­cially here on the Absheron Peninsula and in some other areas of Azerbaijan,” Aliyev told the event, accord­ing to local media.

See Also:U.N. Developing Olive Groves and Mills in Drought-Prone Areas of Iraq

Olive trees have dot­ted the Absheron penin­sula for cen­turies and are one of its main crops. However, plans are under­way to plant nearly 700 hectares of Manzanillo, Arbequina, Arbosana, Blanqueta, Koreneiki, Gemlik and Imperial olives on reclaimed land cre­ated by clear­ing rocky soil west of the cap­i­tal.

Once com­pleted, the project will cover 3,000 hectares of reclaimed land, with 1,000 hectares of olive groves planned for the com­ing years.

We have cre­ated such a beau­ti­ful com­plex on a vacant piece of land,” Aliyev said. Throughout his­tory, there was noth­ing here.”


(Photo Presidency Azerbaijan)

Absheron Olive Gardens said they expect to even­tu­ally har­vest 10 tons of olives per hectare in the new groves, which will be equipped with an auto­mated irri­ga­tion sys­tem.

This year, the com­pany expects to pro­duce two to three tons of olives per hectare, prompt­ing its deci­sion to invest in the new mill. The com­pany added that it expects to trans­form these olives into 4,000 tons of olive oil, half of which will be exported.

Aliyev thanked the Italian con­sul­tants who helped con­struct the mill and said new projects would likely fol­low the mil­l’s com­ple­tion as olive grow­ing expands on the penin­sula.

I think that this is why our coop­er­a­tion with your com­pany will be of strate­gic impor­tance,” he said. Because there is poten­tial here, in Absheron, as well as in the reclaimed areas.”

Of course, every­thing will have to be eval­u­ated – the land, the cli­mate, the pro­duc­tiv­ity,” he added. But we have seri­ous plans to become an impor­tant pro­ducer. We also have plans to cre­ate thou­sands of jobs and local pro­duc­tion through­out the coun­try.”


(Photo Presidency Azerbaijan)

During the cer­e­mony, Absheron Olive Gardens exec­u­tives empha­sized the need to fos­ter an olive oil con­sump­tion cul­ture in Azerbaijan, rais­ing aware­ness about its health ben­e­fits and organolep­tic qual­i­ties.

The open­ing of the new mill comes five months after Eldar Salimov, Azerbaijan’s ambas­sador to Jordan, met with offi­cials from the International Olive Council at its June meet­ing in Amman to dis­cuss join­ing the inter­na­tional gov­ern­ing body of table olive and olive oil pro­duc­tion.

Azerbaijan will join the fam­ily of coun­tries that pro­duce and export olives and olive oil,” Aliyev con­firmed at the cer­e­mony.


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