By Rasana Gasimova
In recent years, Azerbaijan has been diversifying its economy, which has opened up opportunities to develop various spheres of the non-oil sector, agriculture being one of them.
The country is looking for ways to increase cooperation with other countries in the sphere of agriculture.
A seminar on sustainable agriculture for healthy food production was recently organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture and the Netherlands Embassy in Azerbaijan to provide a platform for the discussion of agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
Representatives of the Netherlands Embassy in Azerbaijan and other countries, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, representatives of international organizations and business structures attended the seminar.
Addressing the seminar, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Azerbaijan Onno Kervers spoke about the current state of relations between the two countries, particularly in the agrarian sector, and prospects for agricultural cooperation. He said that the exchange of agricultural experience with Azerbaijan is one of the priority areas for Netherlands.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilhama Gadimova noted that agricultural reforms implemented in Azerbaijan have yielded positive results. She added that the agrarian sector is constantly being supported by the state.
“New technologies are being expanded to provide sustainable agricultural production, subsidies for farm development are provided. The purpose of these activities is to stimulate the production of high quality agricultural products, to ensure food security and sustainable agriculture,” Gadimova said.
Chairman of the "Agro Supply and Procurement" OJSC Leyla Mammadova touched upon the activities, projects and achievements of the company. She noted that the innovations introduced by the Agriculture Ministry and the opportunities provided to farmers by Agro Supply and Procurement OJSC play an exceptional role in improving the quality and volumes of agricultural products.
She further spoke about the projects carried out in the country aimed at improving agricultural sphere.
“The main purpose of the “From the Village to the City” and “From the City to the Village”, “Azerbaijani Women in Agriculture” projects is to increase the quality of the products and production outputs, produced by small and medium farms and to support product sale. At the same time, ensuring sustainability in agriculture by increasing social welfare of farmers is one of the main activities conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and its subordinated structures,” Mamamdova said.
The seminar continued with panel discussions on the topics of “Sustainable Land and Water Management”, “Pilot Farm”, “Waste Management”, “Sustainable Nutrition and Feeding”, “Veterinary”, and “Plant Health / Disease” at the Green panel, "Plant Health / Disease and post-harvest management”, “Complex pest control”, “Innovations in greenhouses ”, and “Sustainable greenhouses”.
The Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products, after the U.S. The agricultural sector of Azerbaijan offers broad commercial opportunities to Dutch companies.
In August 2019, the Netherlands allocated 300 million euros for the construction of a model farm in Azerbaijan. Model farms are experimental farms designed to research and demonstrate improvements in agricultural techniques, efficiency, and building layout.
The economic relations between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands embrace various spheres. The countries cooperate in different directions such as industry, producing, processing and packing of agricultural production, ICT, tourism, health, and ecology.
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