The 5th Steering Committee Meeting of the Project Took Place on September 29, 2020

The 5th Steering Committee Meeting of the project took place September 29, 2020. The SC meeting was organized via online platform ZOOM due to travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The 5th Quarterly Report covering 1st of May – 31st of July 2020, an overview on Project Implementation from 1st August to 29th September 2020 and a proposal for the “3rd Rolling Work Plan” (for the fourth semester: 1st of November – 30th of April 2021) were presented by the Resident Twinning Adviser  Riccardo Passero (based in Baku).

Furthermore, the new BC project leadership composition was introduced. The SC Members were informed that Mr. Mirza Aliyev was appointed as new Chairman of AXA (Agency for Agrarian Services under MoA) and consequently withdrew his duties as Chairman of AKIA and BC Project Leader of the Twinning Project. Ms. Leyla Mammadova was appointed as new BC Project Leader (BC PL) of the Twinning Project, replacing Mr. Mirza Aliyev.

The 5th quarter resulted in the implementation of the activity 1.2 (indicator 2.1) “Report on alternative support measures (focus on livestock subsidy options)”.  Twinning proposed six livestock support schemes to be applied in a period of three years (together with detailed procedures):

1) Coupled support for the improvement of standards and productivity in the sheep sector

2) Coupled support for the development of Azerbaijani quality purebred in sheep sector   

3) Coupled support for the improvement of standards and productivity in the cattle sector

4) Coupled support for the improvement of standards and productivity in buffalo sector   

5) Top-up support for enhancing the current beekeeping scheme.

6) Coupled support for the development of local Azerbaijani purebred bees

In particular, with reference to sheep, cattle and buffalo sectors, the measures proposed have a threefold effect:

  1. Promoting the registration (i.e. ear-tags) of the supported animals (ewes, cows and buffalo dairy cows) and starting to create a wide-spread Animal Register in Azerbaijan.
  2. Linking the public support (subsidy) to the respect by farmers of basic animal welfare, hygiene standards and good breeding conditions (adapted to Azerbaijan).
  3. To provide for a coupled support subsidy linked to herd-size in order to compensate farmers production costs and conditioned to the registration of the supported animals and to the respect of good breeding practices by farmer

The Report was first presented to the Minister of Agriculture of Azerbaijan on 17th of June 2020 and received a positive feedback from BC side. The contents of the Report were further integrated in the months of July and August 2020.

The system aims at supporting especially the small/medium sized holdings and the veterinary service has the key role in accompanying farmers to the respect of the animal welfare, hygiene and good breeding standards.

Another objective of the proposed measures is to increase in a sustainable way the livestock production and support Azerbaijan in gradually becoming internally self-sufficient in the livestock sector.

Moreover, activities related to RDP measure fiches on Activity 2.1 (Indicator of achievement 6.3)
Analysis of the current rural development programme and programming methodology” continued in 5th quarter and are ongoing in the 6th quarter. A rural development webinar, requested by BC PL, provided to BC stakeholders for technical information on RDP measures for the diffusion of knowledge in agriculture with examples from Italy, Lithuania and Poland. An in-depth analysis was devoted to the current implementing mechanism of the EU Rural Development measure n.2 "advisory services, farm management and farm relief service". Furthermore, it was explained how the farm advisory services (FAS) institutions are currently organised in EU Member States with practical examples from Italy, Lithuania and Poland.

During the ongoing 6th Quarter, the aim is to achieve five Twinning benchmarks and to complete already initiated activities from Component 1 and Component 2:

  1. Activity 1.1 Indicator of achievement 1.2: Assessment of the current subsidy policy.
  2. Activity 1.1 Indicator of achievement 1.3:  Report and conclusions presented following an analysis of possible areas of conflict with the AoA.
  3. Activity 2.1 Indicator of Achievement 6.2 “Proposal prepared as to how elements of the EU framework for rural development programmes may be used/adapted to support the MoA in the effective use of its resources to implement its contribution to the current programme”.
  4. Activity 2.1 Indicator of Achievement 6.3: “Concept and draft of Rural Development measure fiches”.
  5. Activity 2.1 Indicator of Achievement 6.4: At least 50 copies of the measure fiches produced and disseminated.

The Result 7: “Proposal for the introduction of the EU rural development framework and best practices”, was presented by RTA, emphasizing the activity on rural development that will be continued by Twinning for the next semester, focusing on the introduction of a proper national rural development policy in Azerbaijan. The relevant Azerbaijani institutions will be involved by Twinning in the activity.

All in all, 49% (233/480) of the STE’s working days of the project were consumed and the total number of working days left in the project is 247 (51%) at 29th of September 2020 (ongoing 6th quarter).

Proposal for the 3rd Rolling Work Plan for the 4th Semester (01.11.2020 – 30.04.2021) and the distribution of activities during the projected extension period were presented by RTA during the meeting.

At the end of the meeting SC members approved the 5th Quarterly Report.

Twinning Office

Address: c/o Agency for Agro Credit and Development (AKIA) Ahmad Rajabli 329-339, Chinar Park, (Bina 1, 5th floor, room 14),Baku, Azerbaijan

Telephone: -

RTA - Riccardo Passero

RTA Assistant - Diliara Agajeva

Language Assistant – Mirsajjad Mirizada