The closing ceremony of the project "Development of sustainable and inclusive local agro-food systems in the northwestern region of Azerbaijan" was held
19 January 2023
Within the framework of the project, activities have also been started in order to register 3 areas of the North-West region of Azerbaijan as "Globally Important Agrarian Heritage System".
The closing ceremony of the project "Development of sustainable and inclusive local agro-food systems in the northwestern region of Azerbaijan" implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), funded by the European Union, was held.
Bariz Mehdiyev, Deputy Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Azerbaijan, who opened the event with his opening speech, said that during the implementation of the project, 23 production groups consisting of 250 producers on 6 value chains were created in Gakh, Zagatala and Balakan regions, and small producers were involved in this value chain. "The project participants were also equipped with the necessary equipment and tools to expand their production areas and at the same time adapt the production process to market requirements." Bariz Mehdiyev emphasized the support that the project will provide to the economy of the selected regions and the social welfare of the population by contributing to the development of tourism and agriculture in the region.
Mr. Peter Michalko, the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) in the Republic of Azerbaijan, made an opening speech at the event. He noted the significance of the project for all interested parties. “The project helped small holder producers build their capacity for diversification of their income sources and improve their livelihoods as a whole. Balanced growth and reduced socio-economic disparities between different parts of the country is one of the priority areas of the EU assistance in Azerbaijan”, Ambassador Michalko said.
One of the main goals of the project is to support local farmers and producers and promote the promotion of local food and products. During the event, local food products included in the "Yurdumun Lezzeti" brand created within the framework of the project were also presented to the participants. Products such as beekeeping products, various types of jams, crushed nuts and dried fruits were exhibited. Along with the products, the book "Food Recipes" specific to the region prepared within the framework of the project was also presented.
One of the other directions of the project is to study the tourism potential of the region and to support agro-tourism in this region. 1 agro-tourism center has been identified in each of Gakh, Zagatala and Balakan regions, farm managers and workers have been involved in trainings on rural tourism, sales, and hospitality services. Note Let's say that the selected products for the project are: honey, beekeeping products, fruit drying, jam production, molasses, nut products and dried meat products.
Within the framework of the project, activities have also been started in order to register 3 areas of the North-West region of Azerbaijan as "Globally Important Agrarian Heritage System". It is an international program that records aesthetic beauty and outstanding landscapes full of life and biodiversity. It is planned to register the people, farms, flora and fauna of the region as cultural heritage.
The UN Resident Coordinator Office, the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, leading representatives of local executive authorities, a number of international organizations, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations, farmer associations, and private organizations took part in the event.