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FEATURE STORY February 18, 2021

In Azerbaijan, a More Competitive Agricultural Sector Will Benefit Agribusinesses and Farmers

Nariman Alakbarov is an agricultural specialist from Azerbaijan's Sarkar village. He has dedicated more than 20 years of his life to producing grapes, as well as other staples. Owing to the Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project he can now fully enjoy the results of the efforts invested in his job as a farmer.

World Bank Group


Nariman, a farmer in the Samukh region of Azerbaijan, is one of about 150 local farmers who benefit today from better access to processing, packaging, and distribution networks of agricultural produce. Thanks to support from the Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project, the new produce drying facility in his village can fully serve the needs of local producers, as well as those in many neighboring villages and towns.  

Important reforms recently implemented in Azerbaijan’s agricultural sector – including improvement of the food safety system and support to agricultural producers by providing incentives for technology transfer - aim to increase the sector’s productivity and competitiveness. As a result, both consumers and producers will see benefits, including raised incomes for smallholder farmers like Nariman.

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Copyright: World Bank Azerbaijan

The Agricultural Competitiveness Improvement Project, funded by the World Bank, aims to boost the country’s agricultural competitiveness, by improving both the supply and demand side of agribusiness, ensuring better processing capacity, and enabling easier access to markets.

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"When a child is born in Samukh, the first discussion she or he hears in the family is about seeds. Lettuce, spinach, coriander, fennel, radish, carrots, onion, you name it! We have a long history of producing the so-called 'elite' seeds in our rich region."
Olga Babaeva, Seed producer
Olga Babaeva
Seed Producer

An additional goal of the project is to support activities that will improve the quality of agricultural seeds entering the market.

In Olga Babaeva’s village, which has a population of around 450 people, there is a long tradition of producing seeds for local markets. For many years, times were tough for the people in the village, and farmers faced challenges promoting and selling their produce, including seeds. Today, the project helps these famers focus on producing high-quality agricultural products and deliver them to market.


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The project supports three additional components that are also integral to achieving impact:

  • Strengthening food safety and veterinary and plant health services, in order to reduce existing obstacles to agricultural and food trade. 
  • Providing financial services to agribusiness. The project provides a line of credit to agribusiness and agri-food processing enterprises to enhance their competitiveness, increase production and improve technologies. .
  • And project management. The management responsibility for the project is taken by the Agency for Agri-Credits and Development (AKIA) within the ministry of agriculture. 


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