Baku, Azerbaijan, December 18, 2014—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Agriculture signed today an agreement which focuses on increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the country’s agriculture sector.
The IFC Azerbaijan Investment Climate Project, implemented by the World Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice in partnership with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), will work with the ministry to support regulatory and other improvements in the seed sector.
Azerbaijan’s farm sector is the country’s leading employer and the base of its non-oil economy. The country has a strong comparative advantage in exporting fresh fruit and vegetables. However, an underdeveloped agri-food supply chain and low productivity remain key challenges. Insufficient access to quality inputs, especially seeds and seedlings, is a key constraint to improving crop productivity.
“The objective of this agreement is to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Azerbaijan by improving seed testing, registration, and protection regulation and institutional strengthening," said Heydar Asadov, the Minister of Agriculture of Azerbaijan. "This will increase farmers' access to various highly productive seed varieties, including imported ones.” He also emphasized the importance of practical cooperation with IFC in this sphere and utilization of EU experience.
“Our cooperation with Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Agriculture is an important part of our strategy aimed at supporting sustainable growth and the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy,” said Aliya Azimova, IFC Country Representative in Azerbaijan. “By helping boost the productivity of the agriculture sector, we hope to help Azerbaijan ensure balanced development, boost its international competitiveness, and generate more employment opportunities outside the oil and gas sector.”
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has invested $414 million in 73 projects in the financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors, and mobilized $73 million from other lenders. IFC has also implemented advisory projects focused on developing the private sector.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit
For more information about SECO, please visit: