A meeting of the National Technical Committee was held as part of the hazelnut project.
21 June 2022
- The next meeting of the National Technical Committee was held within the project "Catalysing the Efficiency and Sustainability of Azerbaijan’s Hazelnut Sector - HAZER" in the Gakh region.
Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Azerbaijan, Food Safety Agency, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Agrarco LLC and Azersun Holding, other state agencies and private sector, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gathered in the committee meeting.
The meeting discussed ways to protect the genetic resources of hazelnuts, ongoing fieldwork in the demonstration areas and the work done to assess the biomass potential in hazelnut growing, as well as other ongoing activities within the project.
"Hazelnut production is one of the most important agricultural products in Azerbaijan. Hazelnut cultivation is particularly sensitive to climatic conditions and is limited in its distribution to specific areas worldwide. To make hazelnut production more sustainable, we must use different genetic resources and high-quality technology and methods during production. Preserving and sustaining the genetic resources of hazelnuts will create a long-term basis for the quality production of this product." FAO Agriculture Specialist Bonnie Furman made a presentation at the meeting.
"Hazelnut growing areas in Azerbaijan are very favourable regarding soil conditions." According to Umit Sardar, an international expert on perennial planting systems, the declaration of hazelnut growing areas as organic farming zones can be discussed.
The bark of Atababa, the most widely grown variety in the country, is slightly thicker than other varieties. Although it reduces productivity, i.e. the proportion of the inner part, i.e. the kernel, it plays a significant role in the fight against aflatoxin. As part of the project, we carried out practical training on hazelnut pruning and cleaning, and I think that these experiments will positively impact the productivity and quality of hazelnuts, "the expert said in his speech.
It should be noted that the National Technical Committee was established to improve the production and quality of hazelnuts in Azerbaijan, focusing on small farms. Committee members represent the public, private and non-governmental.
The project is implemented jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan under the FAO-Azerbaijan Partnership Program (FATP). It covers Azerbaijan's north-western and north-eastern regions (main hazelnut growing regions - Balakan, Gakh, Zagatala, Khachmaz, Oguz and Gabala). The project's primary goal is to increase the efficiency of hazelnut production using different technologies and to apply advanced agricultural practices on small farms to improve the quality of hazelnuts, with a particular focus on reducing the risk of aflatoxin.