USD 19.35 million IFAD loan to enhance food security in Azerbaijan

Rome, 28 June 2011 – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has announced that a US$19.35 million loan will be provided to Azerbaijan to increase food security and enhance income-raising opportunities.

The loan agreement for the Integrated Rural Development Project was signed today in Rome by Ismat Abasov, Minister for Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.

The project aims to support increased agricultural productivity, enhanced incomes and food security, to reach more than  50,000 households in the districts of Agdash, Yevlakh, Sheki and Oguz. The districts in the lowland areas in particular will benefit from improved irrigation water delivery.

IFAD's project will target the rural poor to improve their skills and use available natural resources more effectively to   improve sustainable productivity and profitability for crop and livestock husbandry. In addition, IFAD aims to improve the incomes of women and men producers through better farm management and access to credit.

The project has several innovative features including the practice of mixed farming through complementary investments in both crop and livestock production, and the creation of  Farmer Support teams to promote farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange.

With this new project, IFAD will have financed five  programmes and projects in Azerbaijan for a total investment of $87.0 million.

Press release No.: IFAD/43/2011

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$12.9 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering more than 370 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nation's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 166 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).