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BP, partners present ‘Sweet Gold’ project in Azerbaijan

01 December 2017 [15:22] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Sara Israfilbayova

UK’s BP together with its project partners in Azerbaijan have presented the “Sweet Gold” project worth 3.3 million manats ($1.9 million), aimed at the development of beekeeping in the regions of the country.

The pilot phase of the project was launched in March 2017 in 18 rural communities, and the presentation of the project was based on the success of this phase.

The goal of the project, implemented by local company Puls-R, is to provide the community members with the necessary resources and skills to create competitive beekeeping farms.

Azerbaijan and BP organized a joint event on December 1 in Baku, dedicated to the support for the development of beekeeping sector in Azerbaijan.

Addressing the event, Minister of Agriculture Heydar Asadov said that the Ministry offers BP to establish cooperation in animal husbandry.

He added that BP has been actively assisting in the development of the country's agriculture since 2015, by supporting the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University in Ganja, beekeeping sector and promoting the establishment of veterinary clinics and laboratories.

He went on to say that the Ministry has prepared new proposals for the development of beekeeping, adding that the proposals will be submitted for consideration to the government soon.

Speaking at the event, BP Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gary Jones said that the project is a part of the efforts of BP and partners to support the increase of community incomes.

He noted that the company considered two aspects: providing the necessary equipment and tools and building the capacity to manage this area.

This project will also support the government’s efforts to develop the non-oil sphere, said Jones.

The BP regional president expressed hope that the company will be able to achieve the set goal by increasing the incomes of rural communities and their skills.

To date, 100 beekeeping farms have started operating in the Yevlakh, Samukh and Shamkir regions of Azerbaijan as part of the pilot phase. Each farm was provided with 15 beehives and 10 bee colonies, as well as other equipment.

The project’s second phase envisages expanding and increasing social investments, and the next phase will last until 2020.

The cost of the project’s pilot phase is about 400,000 manats ($235,200) and the cost of the second phase is 2.9 million manats ($1.7 million).

Beekeeping, perhaps, one of the most environmentally friendly types of agriculture, is vibrant and flourishing in Azerbaijan and the industry almost doubled over the last eight years.

Public organizations play a significant role in increasing honey production. In particular, the Association of Beekeepers of Azerbaijan under Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) was created, which aims to assist beekeepers in the production process, coordinate the activities of entrepreneurs and ensure operational interaction with government agencies.

Earlier, Chairman of the Association Badraddin Hasratov told Azernews that there are more than 6,000 beekeepers in the country, which produced 3,000 tons of honey this year, while last year the indicator was equaled to 2,700 tons.

To support the development of beekeeping, about 400 entrepreneurs received over 4.7 million manats ($2.76 million) of soft loans in 2016. 


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