Baku, Azerbaijan, December 18, 2014—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Agriculture
signed today an agreement which focuses on increasing the productivity
and competitiveness of the country’s agriculture sector.
The IFC Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project, implemented by the World
Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice in partnership with
Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will work
with the ministry to support regulatory and other improvements in the seed
Azerbaijan’s farm sector is the country’s leading employer and the base
of its non-oil economy. The country has a strong comparative advantage
in exporting fresh fruit and vegetables. However, an underdeveloped agri-food
supply chain and low productivity remain key challenges. Insufficient access
to quality inputs, especially seeds and seedlings, is a key constraint
to improving crop productivity.
“The objective of this agreement is to increase
the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan
by improving seed testing, registration, and protection regulation and
institutional strengthening," said Heydar Asadov, the Minister of
Agriculture of Azerbaijan. "This will increase farmers' access to
various highly productive seed varieties, including imported ones.” He
also emphasized the importance of practical cooperation with IFC in this
sphere and utilization of EU experience.
“Our cooperation with Azerbaijan’s Ministry
of Agriculture is an important part of our strategy aimed at supporting
sustainable growth and the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy,”
said Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan. “By helping
boost the productivity of the agriculture sector, we hope to help Azerbaijan
ensure balanced development, boost its international competitiveness, and
generate more employment opportunities outside the oil and gas sector.”
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has invested
$414 million in 73 projects in the financial services, infrastructure,
and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized $73 million from other lenders.
IFC has also implemented advisory projects focused on developing the private
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
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