Over the months of November and December of 2012, the IDG led consortium implementing the USAID-funded Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade (ACT) Project provided training and technical assistance for 2,975 participants
IDG has been working closely with local partners to develop agricultural associations. Project staff met with founders of an aquaculture association in the northwest, and held several meetings with hazelnut farmers and processors and with 29 pomegranate farmers to discuss association formulation efforts.
The project participated in the 7th annual Pomegranate Festival held in the Goychay region. The IDG team had a booth and displayed the training materials covering all five project target sub-sectors. The ACT Project booth was approached by the deputy minister, other MPs, representatives from the regional Excom's office, media and thousands of participants. The ACT project then produced a TV show following the Pomegranate Festival on Yevlakh TV.
In November, the project held a Technology Equipped Cold Chain Management Workshop in the Guba region with participation from over 15 cold storage companies. In partnership with GIZ, a four-day training course on Equipment Repair and Maintenance consisting of three theoretical days and one practical day was held. In December, IDG organized a Cold Storage Workshop and Presentation on Smart Fresh Technology to technical experts from more than six cold storage companies and seven pomegranate farmers operating in the Sabirabad, Hajigabul, Goychay, Salyan and Saatli regions. In cooperation with GIZ, the second four-day training course on cold storage equipment repair was held in the Sabirabad region. The project linked the Sabirabad Conserve pomegranate processing company with Goglio Fresco, an international packaging material supplier, and provided technical assistance to help them purchase 2000 aseptic receptacles each worth 18,000 AZN
In the dairy sector, four demo projects were completed in Barda, Agjabedi, Beylagan and Lankaran. Each project features four calf hutches constructed by the beneficiary farmers. During November, ACT's partners connected 13 dairy farmers with AI technicians, resulting in successful insemination of 15 cows. Three farmers received financing from Ashigli Credit Union and Rabitabank, allowing them to purchase a total of seven cows. In December, the project conducted two weeks of AI trainings and project staff was trained in calf rearing. Calf hutches were completed in Beylagan, Agabeti, Barda and Lankeran. Local experts trained 518 and provided technical assistance to 179 farmers in December