Under the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Agro Trade Company, together with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will implement “AFAQ – Agro Action of Azerbaijani Women” project to increase women's employment in agro sphere, their access to information, resources and markets, and thus improve their socio-economic wellbeing.
The main objective of the project is to facilitate the access of women to the sales markets, forming women entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture, increasing their knowledge in marketing and sales, creating small production facilities and greenhouses for women.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilhama Gadimova, Chairman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova, Head of FAO Office in Azerbaijan Melek Cakmak, representatives of public and private sector, international organizations and embassies, deputies, female farmers and entrepreneurs attended presentation ceremony.
During the event, head of the FAO office in Azerbaijan, Melek Cakmak, stated that the main goal of the FAO-Azerbaijan Partnership Program is to contribute to the food security of households, improving livelihoods in rural areas and alleviating poverty according to FAO strategic goals:
“Today, female farmers account for about 50% of the employment in agriculture. However, female farmers have less access to knowledge and information and this is only 2 percent. This project will support women farmers to improve their work, increase their knowledge and skills, and support their access to production resources, particularly access to finance, as well as their access to loan, and thus we will try to increase their income.”
Chair of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova spoke about care and attention to the development of women entrepreneurship in our country. She stated that “AFAQ” project, which is presented today, is of paramount importance for women. Women's employment plays an important role in improving the welfare of their families. In this regard, the “AFAQ” project will stimulate women's agricultural activities.
Later, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ilhama Gadimova mentioned that women's labor in all spheres is high in our country:
“Their work is mostly seen in painting, culture and art. However, their contribution to production, industry and agriculture is also very limited. Especially in the field of agriculture, their labor is invisible, but quite large and indispensable. Taking the opportunity, I urge all women to join this project and making their work visible.”
Leyla Mammadova, Director of the State Agro Trade Company, stated that this project will last for two years:
“Our goal is to participate in the creation of stories of successful ladies for two years.Within the project, trainings will be held for women farmers to enhance business planning, business development, leadership, management, marketing, financial literacy and agricultural skills. Female farmers will actively share their experiences and communicate with each other unifying on a single platform and building partnerships on that platform.Small production facilities and greenhouses will be created during the project to implement pilot activities for collective production processes.”
“Women in agro business who will participate in the “AFAQ” project will be provided by the State Agro Trade Company with marketing, logistics and warehouse support.Their access to information, production and financial resources will increase, and the economic and social activity of women will be achieved through ensuring gender equality in the field of agriculture and increasing knowledge and skills in the production of agricultural and processing products.”