10th Steering Committee Meeting (SC) of the project took place on January 11, 2022.
RTA has presented 10th Quarterly Report concerning activities from 1st August 2021 to 31st October 2021, state of play of the project by 31st December 2021 and information on the next steps and extension of the project and planned activities until 30th April 2022 as defined by 5th Rolling Work Plan.
The expert missions carried out during the 10th quarter covered activities 2.1, 2.2, 3.2 involving 8 STEs, for a total of 33 working days. Consequently, at 31/10/2021, the 81% of the STE’s working days were consumed and the 19% of working days are left to use.
RTA briefly presented the concept of Rural Development based on EU Rural Development Model to SC members. RTA also graphically presented the programming process in Rural Development and hierarchy of objectives in RD programming and Monitoring and evaluation.
Twinning proposal for Azerbaijan: the agritourist operator.
The conditions proposed to be considered an “agritourism operator” in Azerbaijan could be the following:
- To be an active farmer (or agricultural company) with EIAS/EKTIS profile for reception of subsidies.
- To run a farm of at least 1 hectare.
- To offer at least two tourist services connected and subordinated (not prevalent) to agricultural activity, such as at least two agritourism activities mentioned above (A, B, C).
Further RTA presented Twinning proposal for Agritourism Action Plan.
Concerning the Action Plan, first, an initial joint Working Group (WG) between MoA/AKIA and the Tourism Board should be established for a 9-month period, sharing competence, data, and vision.
The following actions should be carried out by the WG as a matter of priority:
- to carry out a consultation on the elements proposed by the Guidelines, involving all interested stakeholders.
- to prepare a database containing a first list of candidate farms to be part of the “National Register of Azerbaijani Agritourism” (archive of 128 farms - available at AKIA-DAIMs).
- the creation of a first list of Azerbaijani Agritourist farms should therefore be presented in a press release or conference along with an updated version of these Guidelines.
- Several other steps are defined in detail in the Guidelines: legislative framework, implementation of the measure and establishment of a “National Observatory on Agritourism” with all relevant institutions.
Activity 3.2 – Indicator 9.3 was also achieved in this quarter. A manual for the administration of the area-based subsidy schemes proposed by Twinning was prepared (“Small Farmer Scheme” and “Single Payment Scheme”) for future management by the Azerbaijani authorities. The draft of the Manual took in account all the aspects of the new measures for arable crops, the implementation mechanism and above all the control system, to make efficient for the Paying Agency to easily manage the new subsidies. The document provides detailed procedures and steps for the following stages:
1) SFS/SPS presentation of application and preliminary checks.
2) Management of Applications and build-up of a modern LPIS-Like system.
3) SFS/SPS Payment and ex-post controls.
By approving and signing the Amendment No. 4 in December 2021, the Twinning project has been extended from 32 to 36 months and the execution period of the contract (legal duration) from 35 to 39 months.
At the end of SC meeting 10th Quarterly Report and 5th Rolling Work Plan were approved by the SC Members.