WB completes agricultural projects in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 1 May 2012 13:16 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 1 / Trend A. Akhundov /

The World Bank (WB) has completed the implementation of two projects in the field of agriculture in Azerbaijan, WB office in Baku told Trend today.

In February the bank completed the Phase II adapted development and agricultural lending programme. A loan agreement was previously signed in autumn 2006. The bank then extended the duration of the project which expired in May last year, till February 2012.

The project serves to increase farmers' income and agricultural productivity. The project started in 2007 and was designed for four years.

The total cost of the project is $59.5 million, $29.2 million of which is the WB's loan. The International Development Association (IDA) allocated $20.5 million. Some $8 million is allocated from the IDA under toughened terms.

They have been calculated for 35 years with a grace period of 10, but at a LIBOR rate of two per cent.

The government allocated $12.6 million, Japan PHRD in a technical assistance grants programme of $1.61 million, turnover means is $9.56 million and funds of financial mediators, $4.7 million.

Under the implementation of the second phase of adapted programme of agriculture, development and lending, 46,000 small loans worth 62 million manat were allocated. This led to an increase in the investment volume in rural areas. Medium size enterprises in the agricultural business were allocated 110 investment loans worth $17 million. Also 74 grants were allocated to introduce and transfer advanced technologies under the second phase.

The bank also completed to fulfil the first project of 'Azerbaijani rural investments' (AzRIP) in March.

The loan agreement for the AzRIP first project was signed in September 23, 2004 and came into force on December 29, 2004. The total project cost is $21.1 million, $15 million of which account for International Development Association credit, $3.3 million in a grant from the Japanese government and the remainder is paid by the government and beneficiaries (communities) all sharing $1.25 million in the project.

A loan agreement for additional funding for the AzRIP project worth $21.5 million was signed in April, 2010.

"The projects have been completed," the bank said. "The funds allocated for their implementation were fully utilised. At present, the bank is evaluating the results and reports will be available in the coming months. However, one can say that the sign of the success with these projects is that we are going to continue working in this sector."