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EU-funded STEP Project Promotes the Pomegranate Agro-Tourism Action in Goychay and Kurdamir regions of Azerbaijan


A two-year EU-funded project has successfully launched five agro-tourism facilities in the Goychay and Kurdamir regions of Azerbaijan, helping the women owners of these facilities to increase their income by 20% during the first year of activity. To celebrate the successful results and to further promote these five facilities to local tourism agencies, a presentation and the launch of promotional videos were held at Divan Hotel in Baku, on Wednesday, 14 December  2022.

The event for the 27-month-long Support to Transformation and Achievement of Excellence in Pomegranate Value Chain (also known as STEP) project implemented as part of the “EU4Business” project was organised by the Pomegranate Producers and Exporters Association of Azerbaijan (PPEAA) in partnership with Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA). The event was aimed at increasing awareness about these new facilities, amongst local tourism companies with an aim to attract not only local but foreign tourism.  

The event brought together the EU, partner organisations, and representatives of 35 local tourism agencies. During his opening speech, Mr. Victor Bojkov, Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Azerbaijan, spoke about the economic opportunities presented by EU-funded tourism activities in Azerbaijan.

Mr.Ahmad Gurbanov, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA) , Mr.Farhad Garshov, Chairman of the Association (PPEAA); and Mr.Sabuhi Hasanov, STEP Project Manager highlighted some of the major goals achieved through the tourism component of the STEP project including training sessions for 140 farmers across 7 target regions on agro-tourism opportunities in Aran and Shirvan areas,  provision of training sessions to women households and their family members, provision of furniture and domestic appliances to run five agro-tourism facilities (four in Goychay, one in Kurdamir),  provision of agro touristic services to 65 tourist families who were mainly from Baku area (directed by AzTA), and increase of the family budget by at least 20% through the provision of touristic services.

Then Mr.Ahmad Gurbanov, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA), and Mr.Muzaffar Aghakarimov, AzTA Secretary, gave a presentation about the agro-tourism opportunities in Goychay and Kurdamir regions where there is a vast number of pomegranate orchards. Upon completion of the presentation, two promotional films were screened, and this was followed by Q&A session with the audience.

The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of more than 60 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders”.