Ministry of Agriculture and UNDP launch a new project to conserve and improve agro-biodiversity in AzerbaijanFeb 7, 2017
Baku, Azerbaijan, 7 February, 2017 - The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), signed today an agreement to implement a joint project in the field of agro-biodiversity. The project has been set for a five- year period and is co-funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and UNDP. It will be implemented in the Shaki, Goranboy and Goychay rayons of Azerbaijan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, Mr. Ghulam M. Isaczai highlighted the potential benefits of such cooperation. “Preserving agro-biodiversity is critical for sustainable development and can deliver on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The use of agricultural biodiversity can help make agricultural ecosystems more resilient and productive, manage climate risks and contribute to better nutrition, productivity and livelihoods.” – Mr. Isaczai said.
This project will not only support Azerbaijan in achieving SDGs but will also help the country to realize its development strategies. “We also believe that this project will help deliver on the implementation of the Strategic Roadmap that prioritizes the agricultural sector, focusing on food security, organic farming, support to farmers in accessing new markets”, the UNDP Resident Representative also said in his speech.
Welcoming this initiative, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Heydar Asadov, expressed the Ministry’s willingness to effectively implement the joint project.
The main focus of the project will be to support national efforts to maintain biodiversity of native crops. A set of measures will be taken aiming to improve the protection of native crops, support agro-biodiversity conservation, increase production and use of native crops in commercial farms and small agricultural holdings. The project will also seek to enhance the state of knowledge of agro-biodiversity, build national capacities and cooperation between relevant institutions and farmers and improve access to markets for local farmers.