Azerbaijan will achieve significant results in 2020 by implementing the project "Development of sustainable and inclusive local agri-food systems in the North-Western region of Azerbaijan", funded by EU, Head of the FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan Melek Chakmak told Trend.
"The goal of the project is the development of effective and inclusive agri-food systems that support smaller-scale agriculture and contribute to poverty reduction in Azerbaijan’s North-West region. The project is also aimed at strengthening the business environment for inclusive and effective development of agriculture and food systems with the support of community agricultural consulting services in the region," Chakmak noted.
"The tasks set before us will be achieved by using four interconnected components. The project proposals are mainly focused on creating local inclusive and efficient models of agriculture and the food system for selected local agri-food products, as well as facilitating access to markets by strengthening ties between producers and buyers and expanding the potential of agritourism in the region," the head of the office added.
"The result of the first stage of the project is the recognition of the target region as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS). This will draw attention to partially forgotten traditional agricultural practices and increase the level of national and global recognition and fame of the region. This, in turn, is expected to attract more investors and tourists to the region, as well as help to support the preservation of the traditional agricultural system and food production," she said.
Chakmak noted that the results of the last stage of the implementation of project provide for the creation of a model of local consulting services at the community level for the agri-food systems and their pilot introduction to individual communities.
She added the last stage of the project will also allow small farmers and processors to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to create profitable and sustainable agricultural enterprises.
The project is financed by the EU, and the main partner in the project is Ministry of Agriculture. As a pilot area, Balakan, Zagatala. Gakh and Shakhi districts were selected.
Azerbaijan has been a member of the FAO since 1995. FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan has been operating since 2007.
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