Benchmarks achieved (en)

 

Component 1: Strengthened Ministry of Agriculture Capacity in Subsidy Policy Analysis, Formulation, Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation

 

 

Result 1:  Current subsidy policy assessed for effectiveness and compliance with likely future obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA)

 

Indicator 1.1: Suitable approach/model proposed and agreed following internal and external consultations for evaluating the effects of domestic support to agriculture.

The indicator was achieved during the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project.

The benchmark was achieved with the presentation of a suitable/model for evaluating the effects of domestic support to agriculture based on the DAC method (OECD).

Indicator 1.2: Report and conclusions presented, following an analysis of current domestic support, as regards relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and impact in terms of achieving policy objectives for the agricultural sector and for the development of rural regions. The report will have a special focus on the impact of current subsidy policy on small and medium sized farms.

The indicator was achieved in the 6th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 6th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Report on the analysis of current domestic support, as regards relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact (1.2) and following an analysis of possible areas of conflict with the WTO AoA (1.3)”.

Twinning assessment highlighted that the current Azerbaijani subsidy policy is not compliant with likely future obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). The current subsidy policy falls under the WTO “Amber Box” definition because concern measures that combine price support with aid coupled to production or subsidies directly related to production quantities, which may generate trade or production distorting effects according to WTO rules.

The current “planting/sowing subsidy” provides also for expenditure compensation for inputs purchasing. This might determine an increase in the use of chemical inputs (kg/ha) that must be properly monitored to control effects on soil and water resources.

Twinning proposed a gradual reform of the subsidy system with the introduction of basic environmental commitments and good agronomic practises to be respected by farmers. The introduction of “EU rural development-type” investments was also suggested.

Indicator 1.3:  Report and conclusions presented following an analysis of possible areas of conflict with the AoA.

The indicator was achieved in the 6th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 6th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

The “Report on the analysis of current domestic support, as regards relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and impact (1.2) and following an analysis of possible areas of conflict with the WTO AoA (1.3)” was presented to BC stakeholders during the Webinar organised on 2nd of March 2021. The Report highlighted that all the 6 agricultural subsidies currently implemented in Azerbaijan fall in the WTO “Amber box”. Definition and proposal of reform were provided. The proposal has been articulated under three pillars (Direct payments, Rural development, and General services) to be gradually implemented over 3 stages.

The proposed reform would lead to a very significant reduction of the public agricultural support classified as “Amber box” by WTO.

Indicator 1.4: Training plan developed and delivered with the following outputs: 

- 20% of staff of relevant MoA departments (statistics, subsides) trained in the use of relevant policy evaluation methodology/frameworks.

- 20 % of staff of relevant MoA departments are familiarized with the basis of the WTO agreement on agriculture, issues for negotiation, classification and reporting on domestic support to the WTO.

- 100% of the staff of relevant MoA departments have received information on EU CAP support, specific types of EU direct payments and issues to be considered when changing from coupled to de-coupled support.

- 80% of staff undergoing training is satisfied with relevance and quality of training.

The indicator was achieved during the 8th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 8th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Deliverable:

  • Training plan developed and delivered on policy evaluation/methodology/frameworks, WTO knowledge and AoA negotiation and reporting, and issues to be considered when changing from coupled to de-coupled support”.

The Twinning Training Webinar was held on 2nd of March 2021, titled: “Methodology and practice for Monitoring/Evaluating the impact of Agricultural Policy. Policy scenario for future State support to agriculture in Azerbaijan”.

The training concerned policy evaluation methodology and advised on smooth switching from coupled to decoupled subsidy support. Calculation of “Amber Box” reduction deriving from the schemes suggested by Twinning was also presented.

In detail, the following topics were presented during the training:

  • Monitoring and Evaluation of agricultural policy: methodology and best practice.
  • Practical example of use of indicators for assessing the impact of agricultural policy.
  • Policy scenario for future State support to Agriculture in Azerbaijan. Agreement on Agriculture (WTO-AoA) and information on reporting of domestic support. Direct payments and proposed evolution of subsidy support considering local conditions in Azerbaijan.

According to the feedback received at the end of the seminar, 100% of the participants were satisfied with the training carried out by Twinning.  

 

Result 2:  Policy options developed for improving effectiveness and efficiency and compliance of domestic support with likely future requirements

 

Indicator 2.1:  Report prepared on alternatives to the current domestic support measures to promote growth, address structural changes, offering better targeting notably of small and medium sized farms and   lower administration cost.  This report will include a projection of impact of alternative support schemes on farm income, income distribution over farm types and sizes, competitiveness, income disparities between regions with favourable production conditions and areas with constraints and other indicators to be developed by the Twinning.

The indicator was achieved during the 6th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 6th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports, and during the Intermediate Meeting of the project (Baku, 3rd of August 2021) with the participation of Azerbaijani authorities which were also involved in the preparation of the Report. According to BC indication, it was requested to work on alternative support schemes for the livestock sector, which is at the moment less supported than agriculture.

Main deliverables:

“Report on alternative Livestock support measures”.

Twinning proposed a set of alternative subsidy schemes for the sheep, cattle, buffalo, and beekeeping sectors, inspired by the EU voluntary-coupled support but adapted to Azerbaijan. The proposed support measures concern a payment per livestock herd (or beehive) conditioned to the respect by farmers of basic animal welfare, hygiene requirements and good breeding conditions as well as the registration of the supported animals which is in the process of being expanded in Azerbaijan for livestock population.

The proposed measures are a practical solution to support with subsidies the registration of animals by farmers and promote the respect of the mentioned basic conditions for the livestock sector.

Indicator 2.2:  A report on the potential of shifting part of domestic support from Amber Box to Green Box subsidies and justification on the possibility for Azerbaijan to obtain access to Art. 6.2  of the AoA, which will include of the information on domestic support in the agricultural sector in the ACC/4 format.

The indicator was achieved in the 7th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 7th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverables:

“Report on the potential of shifting part of domestic support from Amber Box to Green Box subsidies and justification on the possibility for Azerbaijan to obtain access to Art. 6.2 of the AoA”.

A detailed menu of proposals concerning the future subsidies that could be introduced in Azerbaijan was prepared.  The menu was elaborated based on experience, implementation, control, and best practises coming from “EU direct payments”, “EU voluntary-coupled support” and “Rural Development” policy, adapted to Azerbaijan.

The Report included calculations of Amber Box reduction originating from the suggested policy reform. It was sent to BC stakeholders and presented during the Twinning Intermediate Meeting (03.08.2021) in the context of Working Group 1 “Administration and control of area-based subsidies and alternative measures”.

The Report includes the information on domestic support in the agricultural sector in the ACC/4 format and a detailed description of the Twinning proposal articulated under three pillars (Direct payments, Rural development, and General services) to be gradually implemented over 3 stages, aligning the current Azerbaijani public support to WTO Green Box principles.

The impact of the proposal is to:

1) simplify and make more efficient the administration, payment and control of the current planting/sowing subsidies and the future livestock subsidies.

2) include in the subsidies not only income support but also basic elements to be respected by the applicants (for instance of environmental nature, or on soil, animal welfare, livestock hygiene, etc.). Otherwise, subsidies considering only income support do not allow to achieve the desired policy objectives to improve the condition of the agricultural sector and rural areas in Azerbaijan.

3) the need to introduce a proper rural development policy (well-planned and implemented with selection criteria and related controls) is strongly emphasized, to mostly promote greater competitiveness of farms and diversification of income that can allow rural populations not to abandon their land, as well as targeted intervention in environmentally vulnerable areas.

Indicator 2.3: Alternative options proposed for transition from current to a future subsidy regime including corresponding institutional changes.

The indicator was achieved in the 12th quarter of the project.

Main deliverables:

1. Alternative options proposed for transition from current to a future subsidy regime including corresponding institutional changes. “Report on Small Farmers Scheme (SFS) and Single Payment Scheme (SPS)”.

2. “Standard application form for AKIA Credit support”.

Twinning suggested a simplified policy option: the Small Farm Scheme (SFS) dedicated to farms below 2 hectares with a single payment per hectare for a specific list of arable crops (cereals, oilseeds, protein crops, and vegetables) which represent 80% of the agricultural area cultivated in Azerbaijan by the small farms. This allows to group in a single scheme, crops that can be easily alternated, providing small farmers the choice of what to grow according to their personal or market needs. The proposed duration of the scheme is of 3 years with clear impacts in strengthening the income of farmers and administrative simplification. From an administrative point of view the impact is large, substantially reducing the number of applications to be processed for the smallest farms, which represent 60% of all applicants, with the introduction of a simplified control mechanism.

For the same crops (cereals, oilseeds, protein crops, and vegetables), a similar support mechanism called "Single Payment Scheme (SPS)” is envisaged for farms over 2 hectares, always with a three-year duration. Both schemes would concern more than 80% of the hectares currently supported by the “planting/sowing subsidy” in Azerbaijan.

Furthermore, a standard application form was developed concerning the existing AKIA credit support, enabling the collection of new data about applicants, farms, and the requested investments. The collection of these data enables precise monitoring and assessment of the credit intervention. In this regard, two result indicators and an impact indicator have been prepared by Twinning.

Indicator 2.4 Workshop for approximately 50 stakeholders supported to present proposal on subsidy policy options and obtain stakeholder feedback.

The indicator was first achieved during the "Intermediate Meeting of the Twinning Project", held in Baku on 3rd of August 2021, when Twinning proposal on subsidy policies were presented in detail by RTA and discussed with Ministry of Agriculture, AKIA, ARC, AXA, and local stakeholders in the context of:

- Working Group 1: Administration and control of area-based subsidies and alternative measures.

- Working Group 2: Livestock subsidies: proposal of alternative support.

The same Twinning proposals were again presented in the context of the Training Webinar held on 3rd March 2022.

Indicator 2.5 At least 100 copies of reports, methodologies, recommendations disseminated.

The copies of Twinning Reports for Result 2 were disseminated among stakeholders with maximum divulgation in occasion of the "Intermediate Meeting of the Twinning Project" (03.08.2021) and after the Training on Result 2 (03.03.2022).

Indicator 2.6 Training plan developed and delivered.

 

The indicator was achieved in the 12th quarter of the project. Main deliverable:

3rd March 2022: Training on Twinning work for improving effectiveness and efficiency of subsidy policy.

The Webinar presented the following topics:

- Alternative options for planting/sowing subsidies: the Small Farms Scheme (SFS) and Single Payment Scheme (SPS)

- Suggested measures for Livestock support

- Improving credit instruments’ data collection and programming: presentation of a toolkit.

According to the feedback received at the end of the seminar, 100% of the participants were satisfied with the training carried out by Twinning.  

 

Result 3: Draft legal base for new direct support measures developed and agreed

 

Indicator 3.1 Relevant amendments drafted to amend the current legislation and procedures pertaining to agricultural support and fiscal and regulatory impact assessed.

The indicator was achieved during the 12th quarter of the project. Main deliverables:

1. “Draft of a legal framework for definition of Agritourism in Azerbaijan and related subsidy support”.

2. “Report on recommendations and necessary amendments to the current legislation, including an assessment of the fiscal/regulatory impact deriving from the introduction of agritourism in Azerbaijan and related subsidy support”.

3. List of Azerbaijani legislation analysed by Twinning.

Twinning prepared a draft law for introducing a legal definition of farm-based agritourism in Azerbaijan and related conditions and policy support. The legal activity took into consideration the agritourism Guidelines developed by Twinning (in Result 7) and the existing domestic legislation.

Twinning proposed clear conditions for farmers to offer agritourism related services. This will mark a distinction with the other forms of rural tourism and touristic-commercial activities, contributing to develop a specific identity for the agritourism sector in Azerbaijan. 

The regulatory framework provides for definition of the main agritourism purposes and activities (hospitality, catering, recreational activities), the determination of the subjective conditions (being a farmer) and the objective conditions (having a productive farm with crops, livestock), the definition of the fundamental principles of “connection and prevalence of agricultural activities” which characterize and distinguish the agritourism activity from other forms of rural tourism.

The legal text is structured in 4 chapters (14 articles): 1) general provisions and definitions; 2) organization and support for the development of agritourism; 3) monitoring and control; 4) the final part concern sources of financing and the responsibilities for non-compliance with the law.

 

Result 4: Framework established for linking obligations relating to environment, land management, public and animal health, as well as animal welfare to subsidy payments

 

Indicator 4.1 Concept note prepared on the scope and requirements (legislation, institutional development, capacity building and resource requirements) and including a draft action plan for a phased introduction of cross compliance  requirements to recipients of direct payments;

The indicator was achieved during the 11th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 11th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Concept note and Action plan for a phased introduction of cross compliance requirements to recipients of direct payments in Azerbaijan”. The document described six envirnomental commitments/interventions based on the EU experience but adapted for Azerbaijan.

The concept promoted by Twinning is to link area-based subsidies not only to income support but also to basic environmental standards to be respected by farmers. This will allow to widen the subsidy effect and to promote minimum water and soil protection across Azerbaijan. The activity concerned the drafting of basic environmental commitments, adapted for Azerbaijan, with preparation of a related roadmap. The ban on burning the arable stubbles and a mandatory minimum distance for the use of fertilizers and pesticides along watercourses and near water springs (so called “buffer stripes”) were proposed as basic preconditions to be respected by farmers receiving subsidies.

Voluntary and reinforced environmental commitments were also prepared with the proposal of additional subsidy payments for restricted number of farmers operating in vulnerable areas with critical environmental conditions to be addressed. The respect of these voluntary actions aims at contrasting soil erosion in sloping arable land, enlarging buffer strips along watercourses with specific pollutions problems and introducing green cover in fruit orchards to achieve soil conservation, release of organic nitrogen and to contain the depletion of nutrients.

Indicator 4.2 Adequate number of workshops organized demonstrating the concept of cross compliance, obligations of farmers and competent authority and required knowledge and skill development;

The indicator was achieved in the 11th and 12th quarter of the project.

Main deliverables:

One workshop was organised on 4th November 2021 to present the concept of the EU cross-compliance model.  Two Trainings were carried out on 6th December 2021 and 25th January 2022 to present and discuss with the Azerbaijani authorities the solutions on cross-compliance proposed by Twinning and adapted for Azerbaijan. The final Training on 3rd March 2022 communicated to a large audience the final outcomes of the Concept note and Action Plan prepared by Twinning for Result 4.

Indicator 4.3 At least 100 copies of concept notes on cross compliance prepared and disseminated.

Copies of the Concept note were disseminated among stakeholders during 12th quarter. The “Concept note and Action plan for a phased introduction of cross compliance requirements to recipients of direct payments in Azerbaijan” was also translated in Azerbaijani language.

 

Result 5:  Farm Data Monitoring System (FDMS) further aligned with EU Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) standards and used for policy analysis

 

Indicator 5.1: Update on 2018 TAIEX expert mission report on the Azerbaijani FDMS;

The indicator was achieved in the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

The updated report verified the current situation compared to 2018 TAIEX report. In comparison with 2018 TAIEX report, some elements of the Azerbaijani FDMS were found not in line with EU standards.

Investing in the improvement of the domestic FDMS statistical network is a fundamental aspect in Azerbaijan to have reliable data, which could allow to precisely understand what happens in rural areas, thus setting policies able to intervene where it is most needed. Certain differences in the statistical systems in Azerbaijan and EU of course remain.

Indicator 5.2: Recommendations prepared on modifications to the FDMS questionnaire to calculate all Standard Results indicators according to definitions of variables used in FADN standard results (RI/CC 1750) and the possible introduction of farm typology based on Typology Handbook (RI/CC 1500) elaborated;

The indicator was achieved in the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Proposal of revision of the Azerbaijani FDMS Questionnaire for better alignment with FADN standards (“Revised Questionnaire with Guideline”)”.

Twinning proposed a partial revision of the Azerbaijani FDMS questionnaire with the inclusion of new variables and necessary improvements to make FDMS able to fully analyse the economic trends of the Azerbaijani farms.

Indicator 5.3:  Modifications to the above that are agreed with MoA introduced;

The indicator was achieved during the 4th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 4th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Modifications to the FDMS were agreed with MoA and introduced.

Refinement of methods and approaches concerning FDMS were communicated by Twinning and the mentioned recommendations were sent to BC Ministry of agriculture and to the Agri-Research Center (ARC) and were considered useful and agreed to be introduced in the Azerbaijani system.

Indicator 5.4: Extrapolation of FDMS results to the agricultural census instead of the currently used subsidy data base and unit cost calculation for the most important agricultural products;

The indicator was achieved in the 12th quarter of the project.

Main deliverables:

“Report on census data elaboration and unit cost calculation”.

Procedures for calculation of Standard Results, Standard Outputs and for the definition of farm typology and economic size were prepared. Twinning provided indications for the use of census and other statistical, administrative, data for improving the representativeness of the FDMS sample. 

Indicator 5.5: Training needs assessment carried out and training programme developed for FDMS staff of the statistics department and field data collection staff;

The indicator was achieved in the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

The method for training needs assessment using a questionnaire to be fulfilled by ARC local offices staff was completed.

Indicator 5.6 Training delivered

 

 

 

The indicator was achieved in the 12th quarter of the project.

As soon as Covid-19 condition permit it, a Training on FDMS/FADN was held on 14 April 2022 at Agro-Research Center in Baku, titled “Farm Data Monitoring System (FDMS) alignment with EU Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) standards and practical example of related use for policy analysis”.

The training involved ARC, MoA, AKIA, AXA, officials, and FDMS data collectors.

The Session 1 of the training concerned description of activities on FDMS carried out in the framework of the Twinning project and related results, such as:  - A brief description of EU FADN: objectives, methodological aspects of the FADN survey and main differences with Azerbaijani FDMS.   -Possible improvements of FDMS: questionnaire suggested by Twinning to reach a better coherence with FADN standards.
- The EU system of classification of farms (Standard output, typology, size) and Stratification of the Sample.
- Use of FADN data for policy analysis evaluation (Rural Development and Agricultural policies): case studies and practical examples.

The Session 2 of the training concerned discussion on critical issues and identification of solutions on:
- Accounting principles and roles of the FADN system.
- Collection of data and sources of data to be used.
- FDMS data input.

 

Component 2: Improved MoA Capacity for Rural Development Programming and Implementation

 

 

Result 6: Analysis of the current rural development programme and programming methodology

 

Indicator 6.1: Report with description and analysis of current programmes for development of rural regions as regards objectives (linkages with other investment programmes), targets, measures foreseen and their likely effectiveness, delivery, monitoring, reporting and evaluation mechanism – pointing out principal differences between the Azerbaijani and the EU rural development framework.

The indicator was achieved during the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:“Report of assessment of current rural development-like interventions in Azerbaijan”. The activity highlighted the need for a coherent national strategy for rural development in Azerbaijan with well-targeted investments and measurable impacts.

A systemic approach to rural development is requested by Azerbaijani authorities through Twinning support. Two levels were therefore considered. One general regarding the necessary steps (strategic, administrative, legal) to start a proper national public rural development policy in the country, as required by the fiche. On the other hand, Twinning started a specific short-term strategy involving the local level to test and implement integrated development policies, not only concerning the agricultural sector but the whole rural economy.

Indicator 6.2: Proposal prepared as to how elements of the EU framework for rural development programmes can be used/adapted to support the MoA in the effective use of its resources to implement its contribution to the current programme.

The indicator was achieved in the 6th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 6th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Report on how Elements of the EU framework for Rural Development Programmes can be used/adapted in Azerbaijan – Pilot Rural Development Programmes for Lankaran and Ismaylli Regions”.

Azerbaijani officials were introduced on EU rural development programming and implementing methodology. Twinning prepared two rural development pilot programmes for two local areas (Ismaylli and Lankaran). The two drafted pilot programmes included: context and SWOT analysis, identification of needs and strategy description, as well as a proposed set of specific Rural Development Measures for the two pilot areas.

The introduction in Azerbaijan of principles related to the EU Project Cycle Management, such as measurable context analysis, target setting, selection of projects according to objective criteria, monitoring and evaluation, will help to increase the impacts of the investments promoted in rural areas.

Indicator 6.3:  Concept and draft measure fiches using EU guidelines and outlining criteria for supporting agriculture and rural associations developed for support to agricultural and rural cooperation (producer groups, cooperatives, local action groups etc.)

The indicator was achieved in the 6th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 6th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverables:

“10 technical Rural Development measure fiches following EU guidelines, adapted to Azerbaijan, including eligibility and selection criteria”. The rural development measure fiches drafted by Twinning concerned: agritourism, cooperation among small farmers, basic services and quality of life in rural areas, development of rural tourism and handicraft activities, maintenance, restoration and upgrading of the cultural and natural heritage of villages. A national measure fiche for future support in Azerbaijan of “Advisory services, farm management and farm relief services” was also prepared. The aim of this activity was to concretely demonstrate how rural development programming and measures are prepared according to EU methodology and considering the Azerbaijani conditions.

Indicator 6.4: At least 50 copies of the measure fiches produced and disseminated.

The copies of measure fiches were disseminated among stakeholders in 6th quarter.

 

Result 7: Proposal for the introduction of the EU rural development framework and best practise developed 

 

Indicator 7.1 Strategy and action plan developed detailing steps to be taken (legislative, institutional development, capacity building, resource allocation) to enable the MoA over time to undertake rural development programming, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation in using EU best practices; 

The indicator was achieved during the 8th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 8th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Action plan and Guidelines detailing steps to be taken (legislative, institutional development, capacity building, resource allocation) to enable the MoA over time to undertake rural development programming, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation in using EU best practices”.

Twinning prepared an Action Plan on key stages (legislative, institutional, capacity building, resource allocation, payment, control, monitoring, and evaluation) for the set-up of a national multi-annual Rural Development Programme in Azerbaijan.

The proposed Programme is intended to solve the current fragmentation of initiatives in rural areas, while supporting new investments, especially for small and medium farms, with measurable impacts.

Indicator 7.2 Guidelines prepared outlining the methodology for development of a rural development programme in line with EU approaches;

The indicator was achieved during the 10th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 10th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Guidelines for the set-up of a rural development system in Azerbaijan for the Agritourism sector”, which were also fully translated in Azerbaijani language.

A specific Twinning activity was devoted to set-up an agritourism system in Azerbaijan. Farm-based agritourism is not yet widespread in Azerbaijan and legally defined. Twinning prepared technical Guidelines to fill this gap, developing a specific agritourism concept for Azerbaijan according to local conditions, and detailing the needed institutional governance and regulation for the development of the sector.

Indicator 7.3 Concept note prepared on the scope and requirements (legislation, institutional development, capacity building and resource requirements) including an action plan for providing incentives for environmentally sound agricultural practices in ecologically vulnerable areas;

The indicator was achieved during the 12th quarter of the project.

In agreement with the Azerbaijani authorities, it was therefore decided to detail an intervention in ecologically vulnerable areas which is feasible to be introduced in Azerbaijan for the short term.

The technical document “Support for the establishment of buffer strips along watercourses to protect water against pollution from agricultural sources in Azerbaijan” was prepared with a concept note and a detailed action plan.

Indicator 7.4 Training programme developed and delivered on EU approaches to rural development programming and implementation and covering EU rural development practices.

 

 

 

The indicator was achieved during the 12th quarter of the project.

Main deliverable:

“Seminar on introducing a Rural Development framework and setting-up a national Agritourism system in Azerbaijan”, held in Baku on 17 February 2022. 

During the training the following topics were presented:

1. Work done on agritourism and rural development within the framework of the Twinning project and European experience.

2. Development potential of agritourism in Azerbaijan.

3. Agritourism policy and state support measures in Azerbaijan.

Over 130 participants took part to the Twinning event in Baku, included the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Karimov and the Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Mr. Peter Michalko.

According to the feedback received at the end of the seminar, 100% of the participants were satisfied with the training carried out by Twinning. 

Indicator 7.5: Organization of a study tour on EU RD programming and implementation practise to an EU member state (s) for 5 participants.

The benchmark was achieved in the 2nd quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 2nd Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

A successful study visit to Italy (September 2019) was organized, giving to BC participants the opportunity to directly learn from the EU experience in planning and implementing Rural Development policy. The visit gave to BC participants the possibility to visit several rural development best practices/projects and related stakeholders/institutions.

As requested by BC Authorities and in order to consolidate Twinning results, a study visit devoted to farmers’ income diversification is expected to be organized in June 2022 in Italy.

 

Component 3: Enhanced MoA capacity for transparent and effective administration and control of subsidy payments

 

 

Result 8: Legal basis proposed for administration and control of subsidy payments based on Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) principles

 

Indicator 8.1 Legal base for administration and control of subsidy payments in line with IACS principles reviewed and proposal for further alignment with relevant EU legal base developed and implemented.

The indicator was achieved during the 11th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 11th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverables:

1. “Report for improving the legal base for administration and control in line with IACS principles - Focus on planting/sowing subsidy”.

2. “Report assessment on the impact of adopted IACS legislation and proposal for further alignment with relevant EU legal base”.

A specific analysis concerned the area-based subsidy in Azerbaijan (“planting/sowing subsidy”) for which corrective actions, in the short and medium term, were identified by Twinning.

Examination of legal basis and drafting of effective solutions to manage, control, and pay subsidies were prepared by Twinning according to EU IACS principles. 

The activity aimed at simplifying and reducing the administrative burden for farmers in submitting subsidy applications and improving AKIA performance on administrative checks for eligibility, management, and control of “planting/sowing subsidy”. 

 

Result 9: Consolidated MoA capacity for administering subsidy payments through the use of the ISSP

 

Indicator 9.1: Administration and control structure and procedures for subsidy payments reviewed, gaps and inconsistencies identified and proposals developed for their improvement.

The indicator was achieved during the 9th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 9th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable: “Assessment of e-agriculture system in Azerbaijan with proposals on how to integrate IACS principles”.

Revision of the Azerbaijan ISSP informatic system and comparison with similar IT platform in the EU was conducted. Technical recommendation, based on EU IACS principles and components (i.e., LPIS, Area Monitoring System, Geospatial Application and controls using Remote Sensing methodology) were provided to improve Azerbaijani informatic system for subsidy management (EKTIS). 

Indicator 9.2: Review report completed and recommendations presented for improving the functionality of the ISSP in supporting all relevant administration and control functions and procedures.

The indicator was achieved in the 8th and 9th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 8th and 9th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Action Plan and recommendations presented for improving the functionality of the ISSP to support all relevant administration and control functions and procedure”.

Twinning prepared an Action Plan aiming at upgrading the current area-based subsidy management system (“planting/sowing subsidy”). Specific actions were indicated to solve concrete problems concerning the correct calculation of the agricultural areas declared by subsidy applicants.

Instructions were provided for gradual implementation in Azerbaijan of a LPIS (Land Parcel Identification System) according to EU experience and systematic use of Remote Sensing equipment (satellite).

Such simplified application process (paperless) supports operative steps for substituting the current on-the-spots controls with highly precise satellite monitoring.

The expected impact of the solutions identified by Twinning will contribute to improve the transparency, effective administration, and control of area-based subsidy (“planting/sowing subsidy) lowering the administrative burden on farmers and simplifying the work for AKIA.

The improved system for area-based subsidy declaration and control will generate a positive impact as well on national budget in terms of costs saving.

Indicator 9.3 Procedures manuals and checklists for administration and control of new support measures emanating from result areas 1 and 2 developed.

The indicator was achieved during the 10th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 10th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Main deliverable:

“Manual of procedures for implementing the Small Farm Scheme (SFS) and the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)”.

The document provided operative details for the implementation of the new proposed subsidies proposed by Twinning.  

Indicator 9.4 Training needs assessment carried out at senior staff level in Baku and in 8 regional centres of all relevant administration and control functions conducted and a relevant training plan prepared.

The indicator was achieved in the 11th quarter of the project. The results were presented in the 11th Quarterly Report of the project, as per STE mission reports.

Training need assessment and training plan for the final Component 3 seminar were prepared.

 

Indicator 9.5 Training delivered on applying IACS principles and relevant internal control standards through the use of the ISSP.

 

Twinning identified solutions for Result 8 and 9 were first presented to a large audience during the Intermediate Meeting of the Twinning project held in Baku on 3rd of August 2021 and discussed with relevant stakeholders in the context of the Working Group 1: Administration and control of area-based subsidies and alternative measures”

Concerning the Training (9.5), the indicator was achieved during the 12th quarter of the project. 

The webinar focused on IACS solutions prepared by Twinning to improve the management, control and payment of current agricultural subsidies in Azerbaijan. In addition, the training also included information on the organization, procedures and functioning of the accredited Paying Agencies (AGEA, ARMA, NMA) from the 3 Member States part of the Twinning consortium (Italy, Poland, Lithuania).

These were the topics presented:

Session 1: Twinning work to enhance MoA/AKIA capacity for effective administration and control of area-based subsidies in Azerbaijan.

- Twinning IACS suggestions to improve the current payment and control system of area-based subsidies in Azerbaijan ("planting/sowing subsidy") and further alignment with the EU system.

- Implementing procedures for alternative subsidy options (Small Farmer Scheme and Single Payment Scheme).

Session 2: Examples on application of IACS principles and relevant internal control standards by EU Member States’ Paying Agencies.

- LPIS system (building and maintenance) and control system for subsidies: Practical examples from EU Member States’ Paying Agencies.

- Geospatial Aid Application: online submission of aid applications in EU Member States’ Paying Agencies.

 

Twinning Office

Address: c/o Agency for Agro Credit and Development (AKIA), Ziya Bünyadov pr. 1965, Chinar Park, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Telephone: -

RTA - Mr. Riccardo Passero r.passero.twinning@gmail.com

RTA Assistant - Diliara Agajeva diliara.agajeva@gmail.com

Language Assistant – Rima Akhmadova -