EU is ready to accelerate support for reforms in Azerbaijan's agriculture
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 8 / Trend I. Khalilova /
The Azerbaijani government looks forward to receiving the signed financial agreement in the form of an indicative program of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) for 2009 with a budget worth 20 million euros from the European Commission, the European Union (Tacis) coordinating bureau of technical assistance programs executive director Rufat Mammadov said.
"The program of actions has been already agreed. The agreement on it has been submitted to the EU for signing", Mammadov said.
He said reforms in agriculture will be supported through the state budget of Azerbaijan within the program. About 14 million euros of the allocated 20 million euros are envisaged for the program to support rural development and agriculture. Six million euros will be spent to improve the management in Azerbaijan within the plan signed between the Azerbaijani government and the EU in 2006, and the execution of the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation signed in 1996.
Purpose of the European Commission's financial assistance program is to diversify the economy of Azerbaijan by supporting the agricultural sector. This program will help to achieve a significant reduction in poverty, and contribute to economic growth of the country.
The EU intends to increase the access to safe and qualitative food and stabilize their supplies by funding. The program will support entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector of the country by improving the business environment.
All these actions are related to the goals of the state program to provide Azerbaijani population with food. The program mainly aims at reducing the dependence of the internal food market from import, an increase in food supplies by increasing agricultural production.
In total, the budget of indicative program ENP for Azerbaijan over 2007-2010 is envisaged to the amount of 88 million euros.