By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan intends to increase youth employment in the agriculture sector to contribute to the agrarian reforms implemented in the country as well as to the labor market.
The Azerbaijani Agriculture Ministry has launched implementation of the second phase of AMAL project (Agrarian Employment Enhancement Project) aiming at increasing employment in agriculture in the country, especially in the rural areas.
The main objective of the project, which is designed for young farmers, is to raise employment rate in agricultural sector and create new jobs, a source in the ministry said.
"The project is implemented by the Agriculture Ministry in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)," the source informed. "Over 1,000 young people have applied to join the project and we continue to receive applies to participate in the project."
Those who successfully passed the first stage of selection received an opportunity to attend training. Funds will be provided to those farmers whose business plans are recognized as the most attractive.
"The project aims at the promotion and development of green technologies, formation of vocational education in the agricultural sector and the development of the business environment, primarily in the rural areas of Azerbaijan," the source from the ministry said.
FAO also supports development of women farmers in Azerbaijan. The organization implements the project "Azerbaijani Agrarian Woman" to improve the technical skills of female farmers and their access to the labor market.
FAO's support for the agricultural sector of Azerbaijan is determined by the priorities set out in the new Country Program Framework, developed jointly with the Government of Azerbaijan, adapted to the requirements of "Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future" and other national strategic documents.
One of the main goals of the AMAL project is to help implement business ideas for young people living in the regions of Azerbaijan and willing to work in agriculture. At the same time, the project will contribute to unleashing the innovative potential of young people, formation of new personnel in the field of agriculture and to the rational use of information and communication technologies in the future. As a result of the implementation of AMAL, interest in this sphere will increase, innovations will be introduced and the opportunities of people involved in the sphere of agriculture will enhance.
Youth employment remains a priority of state policy, and intensive work is being done in this direction, in particular by the Labor and Social Protection Ministry. The young generation makes up most of Azerbaijan’s population, and favorable conditions are being created for them.
This year, a new project on youth employment will be launched in Azerbaijan at the initiative of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ (Employers’) Organizations of Azerbaijan and with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The project aims to assist young people in employment issues in small and medium-sized businesses.
In addition, Azerbaijan has recently launched the next stage of implementing the project in the field of vocational education that is being implemented with the assistance of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ (Employers’) Organizations of Azerbaijan and the German government. The project is aimed at strengthening cooperation between employers and the system of vocational education in the field of youth employment in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan pays special attention to the implementation of agrarian reforms and the development of agriculture, which is one of the main areas of the non-oil sector. The dynamic development of the economy of Azerbaijan in recent years and the expansion of the country’s financial opportunities have opened up new opportunities for agriculture.