Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General visits food and agriculture-related sites in Azerbaijan and highlights the role of human capital and innovation

09/05/2022

Baku, Azerbaijan – On the sidelines of the high-level international conference Vision for the future: transition to digital agriculture, held in Baku, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu visited different food and agriculture-related sites in Azerbaijan and highlighted the role of human capital and innovation in employment opportunities, bridging the rural divide and empowering youth and women.

On 7 May, the Director-General visited Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Institute’s laboratories, as an example for state-of-the-art lab technologies globally. Qu noted the importance of the laboratories’ activities for the country. 

“The staff here is professional, competent, and there are all the necessary conditions and equipment, Qu said, “In addition, special codes and recommendations of the FAO are observed, which is also very important.”

During the visit, the Director-General met the Chairperson of the Food Safety Institute, Goshgar Tahmazli. They discussed potential opportunities to further the collaboration between FAO and Azerbaijan and create new opportunities to support the country's food safety issue through agro innovation tools. During the conversation, Tahmazli emphasised the importance of Azerbaijan’s national programme on food safety and the new technology they use to achieve an advanced environment in the region.

The Director-General also visited the Scientific Research Institute for Vegetable Growing and had first-hand experience on the disease-free potato seed production system of the institute. Experts presented Qu the purpose of the laboratory research, the methodology of how obtaining virus-free potato seeds and in vitro different potato varieties and regenerating plants, as well as micro-tubers and their adaptation to the greenhouse process.

Experts from the Institute and the Director-General discussed the role of innovation in advancing agrifood systems transformation and Azerbaijan's leading role in promoting agricultural change across the region. As the main objective of the institute is to support farmers and help develop the agricultural sector, it is crucial to stimulate innovation in the agrifood sector and achieve sustainable development by promoting innovative technologies.

In addition, Qu visited the agricultural site of Agro Dairy LLC in Hajiqabul and discussed the areas the company works with and their development activities on innovative, efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems. Qu pinpointed at the essential role of these facilities in developing the capacity and knowledge of smallholder farmers and the opportunity to help them expand their businesses. At the agro park, wheat, barley, sugar beets and maize are grown with state-of-the-art equipment.

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