Baku, Azerbaijan. Jan. 10
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
With over a six percent of share in GDP, agriculture is a major contributor to economic growth, diversification, food security, and poverty reduction, and takes an obviously important position amongst priority sectors for state investments in Azerbaijan, Executive Director of the Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC), Rovshan Najaf said in an interview with 'The Business Year' journal.
"Agriculture is the largest employer in the country, accounting for around 40 percent of the active labor force, while 99.7 percent of the produce is generated in the private sector," Najaf said.
He said the establishment of the AIC was a showcase of one of the first public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives by the government.
"Projects in agriculture add great significance to the structure of our portfolio, coming second only to industry and representing nearly a fifth of our total investments. So far, AIC has invested over $28 million in various projects in the sector," Najaf noted.
One such project is Aghstafa Agroservice, he said.
"Launched in 2012 and with an overall value of just under $6 million, a quarter of which is owned by AIC, the project serves the purpose of establishing an advanced agro-technical services facility to help improve productivity and promote the efﬁcient use of soil. Having partnered with RAO Global Group GmbH in this project, we at AIC are pleased to have been able to facilitate local farmers to access modern technology and machinery for daily use. Yet, another project AIC has invested in the sector is Davachi Broyler, a poultry production facility with an overall value of over $60 million. The AIC investment of about $15 million back in 2010 helped the renovation and capacity expansion of one of the largest poultry production farms in Azerbaijan," Najaf said.
These, and the other new projects that we are currently considering, help to put AIC in a privileged position as a part of the mechanism established to support the non-oil sector of the national economy, AIC executive director stressed.