Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ready to support agricultural projects in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan officially launched an agricultural development project in the Barda, Tartar and Agdam regions on Wednesday. The city of Barda hosted the project presentation. The project is implemented by the representative office of the international humanitarian organization OXFAM in Azerbaijan with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

According to OXFAM Azerbaijan Director Shovket Alizade, the project aims to support small farmers in the Barda, Tartar and Agdam regions. The implementation of the project will be of benefit to over 60,000 people. Within the project, OXFAM will cooperate with the executive powers of the regions, as well as with private entities.

According to SDC Deputy Regional Director, Philip Keller, the agency sees potential in agricultural development in Azerbaijan, particularly in the Aran zone of the country.

“Because this area has good climatic conditions and soil cover, good opportunities for increasing incomes of agricultural farmers, SDC actively supports projects in this direction,” Keller said.

According to the regional director, the first phase of the project will be implemented within three years, and in case of its success, the second phase will launch, which will cover two to three years.

Presently, the potential of regions is being examined, assessment works are underway, which will cover the first phase of the project, and the problems supposed to be solved.

The assessment will continue until May-June 2011, and, according to preliminary calculations, the cost of the first phase of the project will hit about $2 million. The main goal of the project is to improve relations between the private sector, government and farmers’ associations in the region. Creating the conditions for the activity of small farms will be carried out by focusing on support for women farmers.