03/01/2012 12:47 EST | Updated 04/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Federal agriculture minister says Azerbaijan interested in Canadian cattle

REGINA - Another market has opened for Canadian live cattle.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says Canada can now export cattle to Azerbaijan (ah-zur-by-JAHN).

He says the country is just beginning to invest in its agriculture sector.

That's opening up prospects for dairy cattle, beef cattle, commercial beef, crops, horticulture and equipment.

He says they're not just looking at feeding their own people but at developing export markets.

The executive director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, Rick McRonald, expects the first cattle buyers from Azerbaijan to be in Canada next month.

McRonald says Azerbaijan could buy as much as 40 million dollars worth of cattle over the next few years.

The bulk of export sales are expected to be dairy genetics.