The 4th meeting of the Project Steering Committee took place on July 16, 2020. Due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic, the SC meeting was organized online via Zoom platform in order to allow the participation of the Members located in EU. The 4th Quarterly Report (covering 1st of Feb – 30th of Apr 2020), the ongoing 5th Quarter (project implementation until 15th of July 2020) and plans for future activities were presented by the Resident Twinning Adviser, Mr. Riccardo Passero, based in Baku at AKIA premises.
The 4th quarter resulted in the completion of activity 1.5 (indicator 5.3) and in initial work on activity 1.5 (indicator 5.4) and activity 1.2 (indicator 2.1) at the end of the quarter. Mission on activity 1.2 started an important work for the Report on alternative support measures (focus on livestock). Mission on activity 3.2 (indicators 9.1 and 9.2) gave an insight on the gaps in SIS (IT system) and proposed an action plan to eliminate those gaps.
During an ongoing 5th Quarter the focus has been given on activity 1.2 (indicator 2.1) on the preparation of alternative livestock measures for the Azerbaijani government. As a result of these activities, an alternative support model with six measures (including procedures, checklist and application form) for the livestock sector was prepared by Twinning and introduced to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the RTA Mr. Riccardo Passero. The activity is to be completed at the beginning of the 6th quarter with identification by the Azerbaijani authorities of the proposed measure to be launched.
For future activities, the RTA Mr. Passero, based in Baku, mostly stressed the need to continue the work started on activity 2.1 for introduction of the EU RD framework and best practises. Twinning has already developed an initial draft for two pilot programmes for Ismayili and Lankaran during the 2nd quarter. To complete the activity, short-term and long-term strategies were presented, the final purpose of which is to propose an Action Plan by developing and detailing the steps to be taken (legislative, institutional development, capacity building, resource allocation) to enable Azerbaijan authorities over time to directly undertake rural development policy.
At the end of the meeting SC members approved the 4th Quarterly Report and noted the remarkable work done in Baku by the RTA Mr. Passero and his team, given the challenging working environment (travel restrictions, Covid-19-related quarantine).