Local multistakeholder innovation platforms launched to provide information and advice to farmers in Azerbaijan

16 July 2021

The EU-funded and implemented by UN`s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "Strengthening Agricultural Advisory Services" project organized a discussion for local farmers on the main diseases and pests of sunflower, their control and priority areas of agricultural advisory services in Sarkar village of Samukh region. Along with experts and employees of the Project office in Ganja, employees of the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University and Samukh Plant Protection Center also took part in the discussion. Previous project assessments related to the farm structure and farmers' existing knowledge have indicated a serious demand for advisory services in this area. During the discussions the importance of creation of innovative demonstration fields and application the effective practices and achievements of this by farmers in their own fields were emphasized.

Mr Inam Karimov, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited the Samukh district and met with the farmers from the project sunflower innovation platform. He acknowledged the right selection of the commodity-based products (as the region ranks 1st in the sunflower seeds production in the country), proper solution and demand –orientation and timely project reaction.

The project “Strengthening Agricultural Advisory Services” led by Nevena Alexandrova-Stefanova, Agricultural Extension Officer at the FAO Research and Extension Unit, Office for Innovation, has prepared in a participatory manner on a new model for improved agricultural advisory services in Azerbaijan and is working on its operationalization. Based on the model, a 5-year strategy for the pluralistic agricultural advisory system in the country is being prepared. The strategy and model developed by the project will be tested in two pilot regions - Ganja-Gazakh and Guba-Khachmaz. Work is underway to create a multistakeholder innovation platform facilitated by advisory services on commodities that play an important role in the economy and employment of both regions. Sarkar village of Samukh, Aliyagublu village of Shamkir and Boyuk Kesik village of Agstafa were selected as pilot communities in Ganja-Gazakh region. Currently, work is underway to establish platforms to provide agricultural advisory services to farmers growing sunflowers, greenhouse tomatoes and sorghum in these communities.

Contact:
Nevena Alexandrova-Stefanova, Agricultural Extension Officer
Research and Extension Unit, Office for Innovation, FAO
Project Lead Technical Officer

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