By Nigar Abbasova
A state-private investment fund is planned to be established in Azerbaijan in 2018 to spur further growth of the agriculture sector.
The creation of the Fund is envisaged in the Strategic Road Map for development of production and processing of agricultural products. A relevant analysis will be implemented by the Economy Ministry jointly with Finance and Agriculture Ministry, and local executive authorities.
The institutions will calculate investment income and categorize investments (for instance on infrastructure, production and processing), form criteria for the choice of projects and prepare offers on the creation of monitoring system on the use of financial means from the Fund, should the creation of the Fund be considered reasonable.
The Road Map comprises short-term (until 2020), medium-term (until 2025) and long-term measures (post 2025) to be implemented in the sphere. Some nine strategic objectives were defined in the Map to create an advantageous environment, which will increase the competitiveness of the agro sector.
Some 1.17 billion manats (0.66) will be required to implement measures envisaged in the Road Map. The funds are expected to be provided through the state and private sources, including state budget, the National Fund for Entrepreneurship Support (NFES), Azerbaijan Investment Company, direct foreign investments, issuance of securities, the State Service on Management of Agricultural Projects and Credits, financial means provided by international organizations.
The main objectives of the Road Map are strengthening the sustainability of food security, simplifying the access to financial resources, improving the quality of professional education, development of consulting and information services, simplification of the access to the markets for manufacturers, development of market infrastructure, improving the business environment in the sphere of agriculture.
A recent decree endorsing “Strategic road maps for the national economy and main economic sectors” signed by President Ilham Aliyev on December 6 targets to define the development goals and priorities and ensure their proper and timely implementation.
The strategic road maps, which cover almost all sectors of the economy, will require some 27 billion manats ($ 15.4 billion) to be implemented.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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