By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Over 1,000 farmers in Azerbaijan have sold their products at the “From Village to City” fairs organized by the Agricultural Ministry, Chairperson of the board of the Agro Procurement and Supply OJSC Leyla Mammadova has said.
Addressing the event to mark the one-year anniversary of a “From Village to City” center in Baku, Mammadova underlined the role of the “From Village to City” project in ensuring residents' access to agricultural products.
"Our main goal is to ensure that residents of the capital have access to regional small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while reducing the number of intermediaries. To date, more than 200 farmers have worked with the “From Village to City” network in sales centers and online sales networks and this number is growing every day,” she said.
Mammadova particularly stressed the lower prices of the provided products in such fairs: “Our sales centers are designed not only for farmers, but also for residents of the capital. Thus, goods are sold at relatively lower prices, compared to markets”.
“This project does not only consist of sale centers. As part of this project, we pack local food products under the brand ‘From Village to City’. The number of the same name fairs has already reached five. We also cooperate with farmers within weekend fairs. So far, over 1,000 farmers have been selling agricultural products directly at fairs,” Mammadova said.
“This year, we implemented a number of innovations in our activities and will further implement them in the upcoming year as well. We try to further develop the brand ‘From Village to City’ through the private sector. Next year, we plan to increase the number of sales centers,” Mammadova said.
Addressing the event, Minister of Agriculture Inam Karimov stated that the project is focused on the further improvement of social welfare in villages by developing rural tourism, opening new service industries, creating alternative sales channels, diversifying the incomes of villagers, owners of small and medium-sized farms, and supporting their family businesses as well.
The main objective of the project is to create an alternative sales channel for local small and medium-sized farms, and to meet the needs of the capital residents with natural and healthy products.
Due to the citizen’s interest in the “From the Village to City” sales centers and fairs, the Agro Procurement and Supply OJSC launched another sales center in Ahmadli settlement of Baku in July 2019.
Natural and healthy products produced by local small and medium-sized farms, as well as food producers, are available to buyers in sales centers. The centers also present to consumers food products (Zagatala tea, peas, rice, etc.) packaged under the brand "From Village to City".
There is also an online ordering service of the center aimed at improving the quality of services provided to Baku residents. They enable residents to purchase local food and agricultural products by visiting the website or by calling, without leaving their homes.
"From Village to City" winter fair started on December 21 and will till December 30 on the occasion of the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis and New Year.
Winter fairs are organized in five districts of Baku and five different points of Absheron district.
The main purpose of the Winter Fair is to prevent artificial rise in prices on the eve of the holiday, to meet the population’s growing demand for agricultural and food products, as well as to create alternative sales channels for local farmers.
All products are presented directly to the residents of the capital by the farmers at the “From Village to City” winter fairs. More than 140 pre-registered farmers are selling over 60 different products at the fair.
The Holiday Fair is different from the weekend fairs. It is in New Year’s theme and includes special nutrition corners, various events, including those for children.
“From Village to City” project was first introduced in June 2019.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz