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Thematic Area:

Digital Financial Solutions

Duration:            

2015 – 2019

Client:                

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Region:             

Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia

Country Coverage:           

Azerbaijan

Project Overview

The Azerbaijan Agricultural Finance Facility (AzAFF) is a comprehensive programme developed by EBRD to address the multi-dimensional nature of agri-finance, including access to finance through dedicated credit lines up to USD 40 million to Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) that aim to increase the availability of credit to Azerbaijani farmers and agricultural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

AzAFF`s Technical Cooperation (TC), implemented by Frankfurt School, aims to remove credit constraints, facilitate market equilibrium and enhance the financial, managerial and production capabilities of end beneficiaries, which should stimulate demand for financial products and services while also increasing productivity and efficiency.

Frankfurt School has implemented an ICT solution ‘AzALES’ that automates agri-loan assessment and makes the agri-lending process more productive and efficient for PFIs. The ICT solution included the transformation of the excel-based tool into a web-based solution, including data entry, updates and testing.

In order to populate and update AzALES, Frankfurt School experts have customised AzALES with the development of 45/326 agricultural product reports (tech-cards). To ensure that the data can be used on a country-wide basis, the AzAFF technical team defined regional multipliers for each region and integrated yield multipliers for 45 crops. To keep data about crop production, dairy farming, cattle breeding, poultry and sheep breeding up-to-date, the AzAFF technical team conducted 1,283 product-specific farmer interviews in eight economic regions of Azerbaijan.

To ensure usage of AzALES beyond the end of the TC, the management of AzALES has been transferred to Azerbaijan´s Agency for Agricultural Credit and Development (AACD). This will ensure the provision of centralised data to the Azerbaijani financial sector and the Agricultural Economics Research Centre for the delivery and update of the agronomic data, as both entities are connected to the Ministry of Agriculture. The transfer included the training of AACD staff to manage, monitor and maintain AzALES and integrate it with the institution.

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