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ADB Supports Agriculture in Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bank Respublika on Thursday signed a loan of 34 million Azerbaijan manat (about 20 million U.S. dollars) to support women borrowers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) involved in agricultural production, processing, and trade in Azerbaijan.

The ADB said the financing supports domestic food production, reduces import dependency, and addresses food security challenges arising from economic, climate, and regional political uncertainties.

Boosting the agriculture sector has significant potential to reduce poverty as most of the country’s food is produced by smallholder farmers, added the Manila-based bank.

The ADB also said most private businesses in Azerbaijan are MSMEs, with almost half located in rural areas. Despite their importance, MSMEs struggle to access financial resources. The country’s financial sector is slowly recovering from the impact of COVID-19, while currency-related risks continue to be a concern in the banking sector.

The ADB will issue a Manat-denominated bond to support the loan. It will also work with Bank Respublika to promote gender equality through a professional development certification program for women employees and tailored financial services for female clients.

Established in 1992, Bank Respublika is the largest privately owned bank in Azerbaijan. Farm loans comprise most of its rural business. According to the ADB, Bank Respublika has automated its microlending through digital tablets to enable field processing of loan applications during client visits and real-time data transfer for analysis and approval.

Source : English News