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USAID Encourages Aquaculture In Azerbaijan

AZERBAIJAN - The second Aquaculture Conference will be held in Zagatala district of Azerbaijan from today until 8 October 2010.The goal of the Conference, which is sponsored by the Economic Growth Program of the Baku Office of US Agency for International Development (USAID), is to help develop Azerbaijan's aquaculture sector.

Azerbaijan's aquaculture sector is small but growing, according to News.Az. In recent years, farmers in rural areas have begun to invest in establishing and expanding fisheries. However, Azerbaijani fish farmers face technological and practical challenges to make their operations profitable. Thus, the Conference provides Azerbaijani fish farmers an opportunity to learn and exchange experience with experts from countries with developed aquaculture sectors, as well as establish useful business contacts with their colleagues throughout Azerbaijan.

The Conference will expose fish farmers in Azerbaijan to the latest trends in aquaculture by demonstrating modern practices in fish farming, farm management, feeding, and fingerlings rearing. International and local experts will also introduce participants to new, innovative aquaculture products and services that can help stimulate growth, sales and jobs this sector.

Sheila Yong, USAID's Economic Growth Director, said: "USAID is again proud to host an Aquaculture Conference for Azerbaijani fish farmers to promote development of the Aquaculture Sector in the country. We look forward to seeing these farmers succeed in a competitive market-place."

Conference participants will visit a carp hatchery in Zagatala on 7 October and participate in the opening of fish feed mill in Sheki on 8 October. These activities are also supported by USAID.

News.Az adds that USAID provides support for the aquaculture sector under the Private Sector Competitiveness Enhancement Project, which ends in December 2010. The goal of this project has been to boost the competitiveness of targeted non-oil and gas sectors of Azerbaijan's economy. The six targeted sectors are information technology, aquaculture, finance, dairy, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. USAID will continue to support the aquaculture sector under a new project which is just beginning – the Azerbaijan Competitiveness and Trade (ACT) project.