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 Program Resume - Cluster Access to Business Services Project (MC)

 Duration: 01.01.2002 - 31.12.2005
 Location: Lankaran
 Donors: USAID
 Sectors: Agriculture

In 2002 Mercy Corps, an International relief and development agency, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement a three-year business services project. The project will support over 4,000 animal breeders and poultry producers in the two southern Azerbaijan regions: Masally and Lankaran. Activities are designed to build capacity of 54 local veterinarians and develop farmer clusters in remote villages to ease access to the veterinary and production advice services.

A key constraint for these farmers is high production costs due to livestock mortality, low breeding rates, and inability to meet State Disease Control Department standards.

Over time the project aims to improve profitability for clusters of rural poor and women farmers by increasing access to a network of trained vet and production advice services providers. Mercy Corps expects that as a result of the project activities rural livestock and poultry producers will experience a 20-50% increase in the profitability. This will be achieved due to effective animal diseases preventive measures, modified breeding and feeding practices.

The Masally and Lankaran regions were selected for several reasons. First, it is an area with crucial economic potential particularly in the agricultural sector. Second, it is one of the most isolated areas in the country with up to 50% of the villages in remote locations.

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