By Amina Nazarli
The EU mission in Azerbaijan has launched a new grant call for proposals to support community based initiatives that generate market-driven income and employment in rural areas of Azerbaijan.
The deadline for concept notes is February 21, the EU Neighborhood Info Center reported.
The application for this call for proposals is open to small holder farm producers, agricultural value chain actors, agricultural based rural groups and associations, small and medium scale rural business enterprises (agriculture or non-agricultural such as tourism), municipalities and small producers of handicraft.
A specific attention will be paid to people wanting to start their own business, women, the unemployed, people with special needs, and internally-displaced persons (IDPs).
Proposals containing elements of gender mainstreaming and creative approaches on how to involve vulnerable groups are highly encouraged.
The global objective of the initiative is to foster economic regeneration and job creation in rural areas of the non-Absheron regions.
The EU is one of the largest creditors of Azerbaijan's agriculture sector. The Union is implementing a number of projects in this sphere, in particular, a joint project worth 40 million euros with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Moreover, the EU works with the Agriculture Ministry for the development of an electronic agriculture system and a land information system, implements a twinning project aimed at developing the veterinary service in the country and jointly with the Agriculture Ministry and the ADA University aims to improve the training level of the agriculture specialists.
Meanwhile, the date of the meeting of the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Subcommittee in connection with the issues of energy, transport and environment became known. The meeting is scheduled for January 26-27 in Baku.
The EU delegation will be chaired by Head of Division for bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries Dirk Schuebel.
As for the start of negotiations on the signing of a new agreement between the two sides, the EU said that require preparation of both sides: "So far, no specific date is scheduled in connection with the start of negotiations."