Arzu Women’s Group: “Women together are always stronger!”
12 October 2020
Working together makes them stronger and helping their neighbors makes the community stronger.
From baking sweets to raising chickens, the members of Arzu Women’s Group in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan have found a variety of ways to improve their income while gaining new knowledge in farming, innovative technologies and business planning.
The group, formed in Sumagalli village under the Agro Action of Azerbaijani Women Project with income generated by the women and funding from the FAO-Azerbaijan Partnership Programme, aims to boost food security, and promote socially-inclusive rural development and sustainable livelihoods, through the empowerment of rural women.
Group members who are involved in farming are learning about best practices in their respective areas, innovation, business development and gaining access to resources.
“Currently, most of the women are engaged in raising chickens, as it is a good income-generating occupation due to growing demand for organic poultry,” the group says.
One of the priorities in FAO’s partnership with Azerbaijan is the promotion of women's representation in rural organizations and income-generating activities for rural women. The women who have benefited from the support turned their skills to helping others during the difficult months following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those involved in farming continued to work following the COVID-19 outbreak, producing meat, milk, butter, poultry, eggs, honey, fruit and wheat, but they were not able to sell and deliver all of their products, due to lockdown and quarantine rules.
The women decided to donate those products which remained unsold to vulnerable groups in the village, including the elderly, families with many children, and people who were ill and in need. The rest was sold locally or in neighboring areas at lower prices than usual, due to the lockdown.
“We are very proud that we were able to support needy people during these difficult times.”
The food heroes with Arzu say working together makes them stronger and helping their neighbors makes the community stronger.