Zagatala gathers for first Hazelnut Festival

Traditional melodies, national costumes and walnut mountains: the first hazelnut festival of Azerbaijan, where the main thing required was to have time to try these delicious nuts, attracted hundreds of visitors – tourists and local residents.

The festival was held in Zagatala region on November 18, with its diverse and rich nature where hazelnuts have been grown for a long time.

Hazelnut is not only a delicious treat but also a unique gift of nature that helps to maintain health and prevent the development of many diseases.

A wide range of hazelnut products were exhibited and various competitions were organized at the festival. The handicrafts were interestingly appreciated by the festival participants.

Representatives of embassies of foreign countries operating in the country, including the Ambassador of Japan to Azerbaijan Teruyuki Katori, officials of the organizational bodies, prime ministers, as well as hazelnut producers and exporters, residents of the region participated in the festival organized by the regional executive authority and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The main purpose of the festival was to demonstrate the economic, cultural and tourism potential of the country, as well as the Zagatala region.

At the festival held at Dede Gorgud Square, guests tasted honey syrup and nutty bread.

Head of Zagatala District Executive Power Mubariz Ahmadzadeh congratulated the residents of the region on the occasion of the remarkable day. It was noted that Zagatala is one of the fastest growing regions of Azerbaijan today, which has a great potential for hazelnut production in the region.

It was noted that hazelnut production has become one of the traditional areas in the agricultural sector of the region since the middle of last century. In 1929 the first hazelnut plant in the former Soviet Union was launched in Zagatala. Nuts and canned products produced in the factory were exported to all USSR republics, as well as to some European countries.

Currently, hazelnut pursues one of the leading roles in the economy of Zagatala region. In order to ensure the implementation of the presidential orders on the development of nutrient products, Zagatala continues to work on the establishment of new hazelnut orchards in recent years.

Over the last two years, the total area of hazelnut groves has been expanded from 9,575 hectares to 17,000 hectares. Last year, the enterprises of the region exported some 91 million manats ($53 million) of hazelnut products. In the current year, hazelnut exports are expected to reach 120 million manats ($70 million). During the first 10 months of 2017, some 95 million manats worth hazelnut products was sent to foreign countries.

Head of the Tourism Department of the Culture and Tourism Ministry Aydin Ismiyev said that such festivals held in different regions of the country play an important role in promoting the tourism potential of the regions.

Then the participants of the festival got acquainted with the exhibition of a wide range of hazelnut products on the square with amazing decorations.

Participants of the event watched the process of fueling the oven with hazelnut shells, the rules for keeping chestnuts, the process of burning hazelnut sticks in the oven.

Currently, Azerbaijan is one of the five leading producers and exporters of hazelnuts along with Turkey, Georgia, Italy and the U.S

Relying on its amazingly rich and variable nature, Azerbaijan plans to expand the exports of hazelnuts. About 35,000 tons of hazelnuts are produced in the country annually, 90 percent of which are exported.

In Azerbaijan, the hazelnut production fetch one of the biggest revenue among agricultural production, therefore, the country pays attention to this area.