New model of agrarian advisory services must include protection of environment

Baku, December 25, AZERTAC 

“The state should promote the fallow farming to ensure that farmers take better care of their lands,” stated participants of the workshop organized for agrarian service providers and farmers in the Mountainous Shirvan economic region within the frameworks of the European Union-funded and implemented by FAO agricultural project “Strengthening Agrarian Advisory Services”.

After informing the participants about the goals and objectives of the project, the work to be done, best international practices and models of agrarian advisory services, the agrarian mapping of the region were presented.

The workshop focused on the regional agricultural mapping that also includes environmental impact of agriculture. International expert Guljahan Gurbanova stressed the importance of environmental protection to be linked to the provision of agricultural advisory services emphasizing the role of advisory services in sustainable farming and development. The national coordinator of the project, Vugar Bashirov, said that due to its proximity to the capital, certain agencies are working to clean the land and water contaminated with industrial waste.

“But it is important to have a large-scale program and on-going activities covering all regions in regard with degradation of soil fertility,” he said.

It was stated that the main reason for the Gobustan Experimental Station of the Agricultural Research Institute to have the highest grain yield in the area was the management of the land by fallow method. The reason why this method is not widespread among farmers is the small size of their lands. Participants stated that, the fallow farming should be promoted to protect arable lands.

“80% of the world's agricultural output is provided by small farmers with less than 5 hectares of land. 34% of them are farmers with up to 2 hectares of land,” said Yagub Guliyev, chief specialist of the Center for Agrarian Science and Innovation.

It was stressed at the workshop that the strategy and model of agrarian advisory services which are under consideration and development by the project will ensure the benefit and sustainability of agrarian advisory services to all farmers as well as sustainable development of rural areas. That’s why it is important to consider delivery of the relevant public goods to rural populations as well as other actors of the agricultural advisory system, and in should be included in the AAS model and strategy in the country.

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