By Akbar Mammadov
The project to strengthen EU-funded agricultural advisory services in Azerbaijan will last 26 months, Melek Cakmak, Head of the Partnership and Coordination Office of the FAO in Azerbaijan said on June 23.
The purpose of this project is to support the Azerbaijani government's efforts to develop an effective and sustainable advisory service strategy that can better respond to current and future challenges in the agricultural sector, Cakmakci said.
It should be noted that the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan announced on April 11 that four grant contracts in the agricultural sector with the total value of about 2 million euro and the duration of 24 months were registered at Azerbaijan's Ministry of Justice.
One of these grants is aimed at promotion of the local food production and small and medium farms through advisory services, the creation of new value chain models and agri-tourism development in Shaki-Zagatala and Mountainous Shirvan areas of Azerbaijan.
The project works in three areas: a favorable environment, institutional development and increasing individual potential of consultants, heads of advisory services, farmers and other entities of the agricultural innovation system.
"Our goal is to help Azerbaijan and the government and service providers modernize operating systems, processes and services that are more appropriate for increasing farm incomes in rural areas", Cakmak said.
She also pointed out that FAO supports Azerbaijan in achieving its priority goals within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Azerbaijan joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 20 October 1995. In 2015, the FAO Partnership and Liaison Office was established in Baku.
In the same year, Azerbaijan and the FAO signed an Agreement on the Adoption of a Partnership Program.
FAO's support to Azerbaijan's food and agriculture sector is determined by the priorities of the new Country Program Framework, developed jointly with the Government of Azerbaijan and aligned with the requirements of the Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future and other national strategic documents. The current Country Program Framework covers the period 2016-2020, combining best international practices and global standards with national and regional practices.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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