Agriculture is a fast growing sector and one of the largest employing sectors. It has grown by 5-6% in the last decade, and 99.7% of produce is generated in the private sector. Azerbaijan is strong in the cultivation of specialized, often rare, crops. As well as cotton, tea, tobacco and vegetable production. Azerbaijan produces other potentially valuable crops, including pink grapes and persimmon.
90% production of these crops are dependent on irrigated lands, which constitute one third (1,433 thousand ha) of total agricultural lands. With the availability of relatively cheap energy, approximately 30% of irrigation (556 thousand ha) is done through mechanical and pumping means. The rest is irrigated through an energy efficient gravity system, using irrigation channels. The Ministry of Agriculture wants to improve the efficiency of crop production, and the ability of the sector to access markets, through improving logistics, and knowledge of marketing by the smallholders, which dominate production.
Cattle breeding, poultry farming, forestry, and fishing are the most developed. Animal husbandry provides foodstuffs in the form of meat, dairy, and poultry. Over half of total income from animal husbandry comes from cattle-breeding, which mainly occurs in the Kura-Araz Lowland and in foothill regions. Cattle, sheep, and goats encompass the majority of animal husbandry. Sheep breeding for meat and wool is most prominent in mountainous regions, and poultry farming is becoming increasingly profitable due to its production of meat, eggs, and down.