Dost Agropark, a smart agriculture village project launched by Turkish and Azerbaijani investors in Azerbaijan, has contributed hugely to agriculture and animal husbandry in the Karabakh and East Zangezur regions.
The base of the project, which is the first investment by the private sector in the region, was laid by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on Oct. 26, 2021. Its first phase was launched in 2022.
Dost Agropark Zengilan Smart Agriculture Village has revived the agriculture sector in the Karabakh and Zangezur regions with previously unused lands in Zangilan and Qubadli regions cultivated for wheat, barley and corn production.
Additionally, the project has accelerated livestock activities through pasture-based breeding. As part of the initiative, 6,000 Angus cattle, previously kept on the campus in Zangilan, have been relocated to the pastures in Lachin.
These animals will live in herds in their natural ecosystems for a period of six months in East Zangezur.
The approach aims to protect natural resources, promote high-efficiency livestock, and ensure sustainability of animal husbandry in the region.
Dost Agropark focuses on smart agriculture technologies, zero waste practices, renewable energy, and sustainable agricultural methods. The project prioritizes the preservation of nature and the environment as it adheres to halal food principles.
After all the phases are completed, the project is expected to provide jobs for 500 people. It aims to contribute to the food security of both Türkiye and Azerbaijan.
Agriculture and livestock activities at Dost Agropark are carried out via modern methods under the supervision of expert veterinarians and agricultural engineers.
The lands of Azerbaijan that lay idle during Armenia’s occupation have been reclaimed for agriculture following the end of the occupation in 2020. Various companies have initiated agricultural operations on the demined lands previously occupied by Armenian forces.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation after 44 days of intense fighting that ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement.
Dost Agropark is actively using contemporary techniques for wheat, barley and corn cultivation in the regions of Zangilan and Qubadli.
In May 2022, Aliyev said Dost Agropark Smart Agriculture Village will set an example for agricultural parks to be established in other regions liberated from occupation.
“The first agro-park in the liberated areas is being established in Zangilan district. Last year, together with my brother, President of the Republic of Türkiye, we laid the foundation of an agro-park called ‘DOST Agro-park.’
“I was recently updated about the agro-park. I am very delighted that everything is going according to plan. This will be the first and exemplary agro-park. I am sure that there will be a large number of agro-parks in liberated lands-just as industrial estates are being established in both Jabrayil and Aghdam districts,” said the Azerbaijani President.