Azerbaijani formula developer and manufacturer of fertilizers and plant protection products, AZCHEMCO, presented projects and solutions to restore saline and dry soils and minimize the use of fresh water in agriculture within the Expo 2020 Dubai world exhibition.
The event held under the slogan “Let's stop global hunger, and together, return fertile lands to the world!” was opened by the manager of the pavilion, Rovlan Aliyev.
“Welcome to our pavilion. This exhibition has three thematic zones - Mobility, Opportunities and Sustainability. As you know, the Azerbaijan pavilion is located in the Sustainability zone of Expo 2020 Dubai and this is no accident. Sustainable development aims to ensure a more effective use the resources common in our daily lives and to pass on a healthier life and a healthier world to future generations. Our pavilion also features this topic. It advocates the efficient use of resources and their better transmission to future generations. The world resources are limited, and this is why we must be sustainable now to ensure sustainability and prosperity for future generations. Today, AZCHEMCO is here with us in the pavilion to present to the audience and the whole world its projects in the areas of proper development of clean agriculture and restoration of saline and solid soils,” Rovlan Aliyev said.
The speakers at the event were the founder of the company Levent Ozdemir and senior fellow at the US Atlantic Council, international expert Matthew Bryza who covered today’s climate change.
“As you know, under the leadership of esteemed President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan is carrying out restoration work in the areas liberated from occupation. The development of the most advanced technologies in all areas, including smart agriculture, is planned in these territories in the future. It is no coincidence that our logo features the world-famous “Karabakh horse” as a symbol of Karabakh itself. We believe and hope that AZCHEMCO will be able to take part in the work carried out in Karabakh, and not only there, but all over the world.
"I would like to express my deep gratitude to this wonderful team, especially Rovlan Aliyev, who gave us tremendous support and personally took part in organizing today’s high-level event in the Azerbaijan pavilion, one of the most beautiful pavilions operating at Expo 2020.
"At present, there are Dutch and Jewish agricultural technologies in the world, but today we declare to the world that along with them, our Azerbaijani technology has also revived.
"I would like to brief the distinguished guests on AZCHEMCO, a company that has developed solutions to such global problems as drought, climate change, food shortage across the world.
"Working closely with global institutions and organizations in this field, AZCHEMCO’s main mission is to help in the fight against global hunger, promote sustainable development and provide everyone with access to healthy food.
"The main goals of the company are to improve the provision of safe and quality food to the population, the production of quality agrochemicals, plant protection products and preparations used in agriculture, as well as raising awareness of their proper use. In this area, the company cooperates with a number of research institutes, and the company's products are tested and approved in the laboratories of the world famous SGS company.
"We are ready to cooperate with any interested companies and enterprises in order to develop agriculture in saline areas and prevent future salinization of agricultural lands due to climate change.
"Salinity is one of the most common problems of our time; sometimes it arises from natural causes, and sometimes it is the result of human activity.
"According to think tanks, 1.5 billion people live in areas too saline to cultivate. There are more than 833 million hectares of saline soils in the world, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa, Central and South Asia and Latin America.
"Irrational human activity exacerbates the problem of saline soils. Continuous and intensive tillage, excessive use of fertilizers, improper irrigation practices, deforestation and spontaneous use of groundwater are the main factors of anthropogenic soil salinization. Excessive use of water for irrigation leads to large and irreplaceable losses not only of soil, but also of water sources.
"In view of the negative impact of these factors, AZCHEMCO offers a ‘key’ to solving this problem to the FAO, the International Economic Forum and the entire global world.
"Using underground drip irrigation systems manufactured by the Azerbaijani company AZCHEMCO together with the new innovative product Drip Drop 369, we are able to regulate soil pH, improve its quality and increase overall productivity, which will undoubtedly make the soil suitable for agricultural use.
"Underground drip irrigation systems not only deliver water to the root system of plants, but also ensure its efficient use by significantly minimizing the consumption of such an important resource as water.
"Due to the water shortage and climate change in today's world, underground drip irrigation systems and the product "Drip Drop 369" are a highly effective tandem of innovative methods to combat soil salinity and drought,” said Levent Ozdemir, the founder of the company.
Matthew Bryza, in turn, expressed satisfaction to be at Expo 2020 in the magnificent Azerbaijan pavilion, together with a truly innovative company, AZCHEMCO, which has developed a range of agrochemicals that can really be revolutionary and can do great things to improve food and water security - two of the main sources of conflicts in the world today. Every business is one of the biggest contributors to large water consumption, he said.
Traditional agriculture is detrimental to water resources as it requires enormous amounts of water for irrigation, Bryza noted. In its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations has identified access to clean water and sanitation for all by 2030 as one of the key tasks facing the global community, he added. Agricultural reform will play an important role in this. In addition, sustainable food security is needed, food needs to be grown more efficiently because it can damage the environment. This is what AZCHEMCO products are capable of, Bryza said.
AZCHEMCO has developed a method for the zero-residue and rational use of water resources, fertilizers, pesticides and other products through underground drip irrigation, Bryza said. He said the underground drip irrigation reduces water consumption. For this reason, water does not evaporate at high temperatures like it happens when the soil is irrigated from the surface. Of course, this factor contributes to food security throughout the world. In addition, AZCHEMCO products have the potential to transform land that was previously unsuitable for agriculture due to drought, previous mismanagement, overuse of chemicals and salinity. The project can ensure the use of larger areas in Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus and around the world for growing crops.
Bryza believes that this discovery is particularly important for this kind of global vision offered by Azerbaijan, the country which crushed the Armenian troops as a result of the 44-day war in 2020, liberating the ancestral lands in Karabakh and surrounding districts. By winning the 44-day war, Azerbaijan regained its territories that had been under Armenian occupation for almost three decades, Bryza added.
The former US ambassador noted that these lands were not used for agricultural purposes during occupation, which means that this soil can be cultivated for growing large volumes of various crops. According to him, this will ultimately help attract investments to Azerbaijan.
Bryza said such inflows would be crucial in strengthening and ensuring the resilience of the November 2020 peace through investment, agribusiness, and other sectors that will fuel economic growth and new forms of economic cooperation.
The expert noted that Azerbaijan and Armenia are in the process of normalizing their relations, holding high-level meetings to define an international border and to develop infrastructure and other projects that will attract investments.
Bryza voiced hope that normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations will ensure the reopening of transportation all over the South Caucasus.
Thanks to this kind of economic cooperation and such scientific innovation as AZCHEMCO, Azerbaijan and its surrounding neighbors can become an example of how to conduct large-scale agriculture in a way that seriously reduces water consumption, ensures water security for food security in the region and the world, he said.
Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov was also among the guests of the event. He got acquainted with the company's ideas and projects and also stressed the quality of the preparation and conduction of the event.
Also, it is a significant fact that the deputy prime minister was the first among the guests to “change the world” for the better. The presence of such a high-ranking official at the event once again proves how much the Azerbaijani government supports the private sector. Such favorable conditions for the private sector are the work and merit of the current leadership of the country in the person of the esteemed President Ilham Aliyev.
The event was covered in the media resources of the Heydar Aliyev Center (