By Vugar Khalilov
Agriculture Minister Inam Karimov has said Azerbaijan is working on a plan on using effectively the agricultural potential of its lands liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020, local media reported on September 24.
Addressing an international conference at the Heydar Aliyev center, Karimov noted that massive work is underway to construct the infrastructure on the liberated territories in line with the "smart village" and "smart city" concepts.
"The concept of ‘smart village’ is based on the achievements of the 4th industrial revolution, which makes the restoration work more important and plays the role of a benchmark in the further development of agriculture. The introduction of new technologies will become possible only with professional and competent personnel who are able to quickly adapt to innovations and get new knowledge and skills,'' Karimov added.
In early September, the Foreign Ministry posted on its Twitter account a factsheet describing the major developments in the liberated lands since their de-occupation.
It underlined that the first international airport in liberated Fuzuli region has begun test flights and that two international airports are also under construction in Zangilan and Lachin regions.
The factsheet added that the "smart village" project in Zangilan region's Aghali village had been launched and its finalization is planned for early 2022.
The document noted that the restoration of agriculture on the liberated territories has been continuing successfully. Ameliorative measures and cultivation of crops (including perennial crops) were carried out. Measures have also been taken to develop livestock, as primary herds and bee families have been relocated to these areas.
The government allocated AZN 2.2 billion ($1.3bn) for the reconstruction on the liberated territories in 2021. In particular, these funds will be used to restore the infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, etc), as well as cultural and historical monuments.
Azerbaijan liberated 300 city centers, settlements, villages, and historic Shusha city in the war that lasted from September 27 to November 10. The Russian-brokered peace deal also stipulated the return of Kalbajar, Lachin and Aghdam regions occupied by the Armenian forces in the war in the early 1990s.
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