Slow Food representative in Azerbaijan Yagub Zeynalzade has held a series of visits to the regions before the pandemics alert. During the regional mission, he has interviewed interested farmers and gave presentations about the EU-funded COVCHEG project at Ismailli and Gabala State Vocational Education Centers.
Currently, farmers who are directly connected to the extinction biodiversity are being involved in Slow Food Presidia to form communities such as Rosehip syrup producers from Lahij village, Mountain honey producers from Gabala, and İsmailli, Madrasa grape growing farmers from different villages of Shamakhi region and etc. A representative has discussed with the group the necessary steps to fulfill food and safety standards during the production.
During the visit, the representative has also met with State Agriculture Development Center`s director Etibar Muradli and discussed steps regarding the collaboration. It is important to note that the Madrasa grape Presidia is created and Buffalo herders from the region also showed interest in joining under Slow Food Presidia. Jeyhun Nuriyev is one of the interested producers from Galadarasi village (Shamakhi). Even though he has a small farm he is producing a variety of local food products and trying to protect local heritage and traditions. Also, he is actively participating in other projects such as ABAD (Support to Family Business) and From city to village projects.
When I was introduced to the Slow Food project I felt like I discovered an (IUCN) Red List of flavors that were carried throughout the years but are in danger of extinction today. – Etibar Muradli Director of State Agriculture Development Center in Shamakhi.
After a presentation in Gabala Kotuklu village, local hazelnut growers gathered to form a farmer group and take their farming into the next level. Currently, together with experts of USAID projects, our representatives are developing a small commonly used production facility to process their hazelnut.
Another responsible farmer Halimat, who grows unique tomato variety called Marsan Tomato has volunteered to donate seeds in order to prevent the extinction of the variety.
Article by Yagub Zeynalzade
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