A seminar on "Development of rural areas in Azerbaijan and setting-up of a national agritourism system" was held in Baku today as part of the Twinning Project "Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture to improve effectiveness and efficiency of state support to agriculture." The aim of the seminar is to exchange views on the development potential of agritourism in the country and work to be done in this direction in the future.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture Inam Kerimov said that rural tourism is one of the areas with great potential for the development of the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan. The Minister noted that the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, is carrying out serious reforms to develop the non-oil sector. In light of these reforms, the agricultural sector is developing dynamically.
The development of agriculture not only promotes the development of science, education, employment, innovation, trade, but also tourism. Within the framework of the "City to Village" agritourism project carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture for several years, dozens of agro-ecotourism facilities in the regions were provided with support. Currently, agritourism facilities that meet modern requirements are operating in Gakh, Sheki, Ismayilli, Balakan, Lankaran and other regions. It was noted that further development of agricultural tourism would have a positive impact on the growth of employment in the regions and increase the income of farm owners.
Agritourism is a field that does not require significant investment for farmers and allows them to create a new source of income. For this reason, exemplary farms operating in Azerbaijan also contribute to the revival of agritourism by offering tourism.
Speaking at the event, the Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko described agriculture as one of the key areas for the development of the Azerbaijani economy. He stressed that the European Union will continue to support the development of agritourism in Azerbaijan. Peter Michalko expressed his confidence that the development of this tourism area will lead to diversification of farm incomes and improvement of agritourism services.
Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of the Ministry of Economy, said that agritourism has a great potential in our country. Great Return to Karabakh, the implementation of the "Smart Village" projects and the "Smart Agriculture" concept will give additional impetus to the development of this sector in the near future. The tourism sector has been determined as one of the priority areas of economic policy in terms of accelerating economic growth in the post-pandemic period. KOBIA takes measures to develop micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of tourism and increase their potential.
Kanan Gasimov, Chief of Staff of the State Tourism Agency, emphasized that great work has been done to develop tourism in our country. In his speech, he noted that the development of rural areas and agritourism is currently one of the priorities.
Seymur Movlayev, Head of Agricultural Credit and Development Agency, said that the study of world experience in this field is of great importance for the development of agritourism. There are different models of agritourism in the world. In the panels held within the seminar, international experts briefed the participants on the models of argitourism applied in the European Union.
The seminar continued with panel sessions.
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