Amazing things can happen when citizens come together to plan and implement development projects that address the economic issues facing their community. Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, EWMI has continued to work with Community Development Councils (CDCs) in Azerbaijan through the USAID-funded Socio-Economic Development Activity (SEDA) to bring citizens together to develop such projects.
For many members of the Balagusar community of the Gusar Rayon, the sale of dried fruit and berries traditionally has provided a significant portion of their income. More recently, this income generating activity has been under threat of abandonment because domestic methods of fruit drying and the lack of fruit drying facilities in the area made the products less competitive at market. With support from EWMI, the Balagusar community came together to establish a new fruit drying facility. The new facility consisting of a storehouse, water closet unit, processing room, drying room and technical room will have a positive impact on the Balagusar community and the development of fruit-growing in other communities in Gusar rayon.
In June 2020, the Piran community in the Lerik District officially opened a new honey processing facility. More than 700 beekeepers from 40 villages of Lerik Rayon will benefit from this facility, which consists of a honey storage tank, honey comb, honey dosing, capping, labeling and honey heating equipment.
In the in Yardimli District, with EMWI support, the Koryadi community constructed a new pastry bakery which will initially employ four local women. The new facility is equipped with a baking oven, kneader, cream mixer, and other modern bakery equipment, and is the first pastry bakery in the area. The new facility will provide new economic opportunities for the residents of Koryadi and have a positive impact on the community.