A Joint Workshop on Agricultural Finance by the EU and the EBRD

26/11/2015

A Joint Workshop on Agricultural Finance by the EU and the EBRD


Within the context of AZAFF, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) organized a joint workshop “Accelerating Economic Diversification in Azerbaijan: Supporting Agriculture Sector” on November 26, 2015 in Baku.


Within the context of AZAFF, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) organized a joint workshop “Accelerating Economic Diversification in Azerbaijan: Supporting Agriculture Sector” on November 26, 2015 in Baku.

The workshop has been hosted by AZAFF’s technical consultancy partner, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and brought together around 60 experienced practitioners from a variety of stakeholders in the sector; including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economy and Industry, EU Delegation to the Republic of Azerbaijan, EBRD, World Bank, IFAD, AZPROMO, AMFA as well as Azerbaijani commercial banks, non-bank credit organizations, agribusiness associations and large agribusinesses.

The workshop aimed at facilitating synergies for the success of AZAFF and providing a unique platform for discussing the challenges faced by Azerbaijani farmers in terms of financing and advisory as well as raising the opportunities for the development of the sector.

The workshop started with the opening speech of Mr. Seyfaddin Talibov, Deputy Minister at Ministry of Agriculture where he emphasized the critical role of agriculture sector in diversification efforts of the Azerbaijani government and provided an overview of the government policies to support agriculture sector. Mr. Talibov’s discourse was followed by the opening speech of Mr. Ruslan Rustamli, Head of Department on Cooperation with International Organisations, Ministry of Economy and Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Afterwards, Mrs. Malena Mard, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan emphasized in her speech that “EU has been a key donor in agricultural and rural development in Azerbaijan since two decades and will continue to support the rural livelihoods and economic diversification in the future. Access to finance has been identified as one of the key challenges for agricultural producers and food processors and the new Agricultural Finance Facility will make an important contribution to overcome this challenge”.

Head of EBRD Office in Baku, Mr. Neil McKain highlighted the importance of the EBRD’s new strategy in the field of financial institutions and agribusinesses: “AZAFF is the first comprehensive approach in Azerbaijan combining specialised EBRD financing for agricultural MSMEs with risk sharing mechanism, and technical assistance to both partner financial institutions and agricultural sub-borrowers.” Dr. Christophe Cordonnier, AZAFF Team Leader delivered a presentation on macroeconomic analysis of Azerbaijan with a special focus on agriculture sector.

The second part of the workshop was designed for the benefit of the local partner financial institutions as well as the farmers and agribusinesses in Azerbaijan. AZAFF’s Senior Project Manager Mr. Erdal Kocoglu presented AZAFF technical assistance approach and introduced an innovative agri-credit scoring system, Agricultural Loan Evaluation System the so-called ALES. ALES is currently being adapted to the Azerbaijani agriculture sector, under the name of “AzALES” and soon will be made available to AZAFF partner financial institutions.

Workshop is concluded with the speech of Dr. Christophe Cordonnier, presenting the relation between value chain finance and modern agriculture. He highlighted the potential benefits of value chains for the parties involved and referred to the fact that financial institutions can play a catalytic role in value chain finance schemes and accelerate the transition towards the coordinated model of contractual farming with the help of AZAFF technical assistance services.
 



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Our Partners


The technical assistance funds of the project are provided by the EU Neighborhood Investment Facility.


This project is financed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).


The technical assistance services within the project are provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.