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BP & Its Co-Venturers Present “Sweet Gold” Project

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/1/2017, Location: Asia

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BP and its co-venturers in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), Shah Deniz (SD), and South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) – AzACG-SOCAR, AzSD-SOCAR, AzSCP-SOCAR, TPAO, PETRONAS, AzBTC-SOCAR, Chevron, Lukoil, NICO, Statoil, Inpex, ExxonMobil, SGC Upstream, SGC Midstream, Itochu, ONGC, TOTAL, ENI – today presented the “Sweet Gold” project to support the development of beekeeping businesses in rural communities, related skills, research and science in Azerbaijan.

The presentation of the project follows the successful progress of the pilot phase which started in 18 communities in March 2017 with a duration of one year. It aims to equip the targeted community members with required resources and skills to build competitive honey-making businesses.

Gary Jones, BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey region: “This project is part of BP’s and its co-venturers’ efforts to help increase income opportunities for our neighbour communities. Beekeeping is an area that can bring substantial income with the right resources and skills to manage it. We have decided to target both aspects - provision of the most necessary equipment and tools, as well as development of capabilities to manage the business. In a wider context, the project is in support of the government’s efforts to develop agriculture among other non-oil sector areas. We hope the project will meet its objectives by bringing income and building new capabilities in the rural communities”.

To date the pilot phase has delivered start-up of 100 beekeeper businesses in the villages of Yevlakh, Samukh and Shamkir districts. This has included contribution of 15 beehives, 10 bee colonies, other required equipment and tools, specialized trainings by the Beekeeping Academy of the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University in Ganja. As part of the project, “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Dianna Sammataro – a world-known single-volume guide to the profession of beekeeping – was translated into Azerbaijani and printed.

Phase 2 is designed to be a scaled up and enhanced social investment and will last until 2020. This phase is expected to develop 600 additional beekeepers in six districts along the BTC and SCP pipelines – Yevlakh, Samukh, Goranboy, Shamkir, Tovuz, and Agstafa. The project is also expected to result in the establishment of a specialized laboratory at the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University to improve management of honeybee diseases and honey quality, planting of 60,000 nectar source trees, translation and printing of three additional books on beekeeping topics (breeding honey bees, rearing queen honey bees, honey bee pests, predators and diseases) and the development of a nectar map of the GanjaGazakh economic regio.

The project is implemented by the local company Puls-R.

The total value of the project is around 400,000 AZN for the pilot phase and around 2,900,000 AZN for Phase 2.

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