Support from TİKA to Cocuq Mercanli that Broke Free from the Occupation

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) set up greenhouses and beekeeping farms in the village of Cocuq Mercanli, which lies in the front line of Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict and which was recently freed from occupation.  

As part of the program, “Support to Cocuq Mercanli” that is being carried out in collaboration with the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Economic Development, TİKA built 15 greenhouses, each of which has an area of 160 m2, and 15 beekeeping farms with the scope of the projects that started in the beginning of June 2018.

Beekeeping and greenhouse enterprises were delivered to the families with the inauguration and the handover ceremony that was attended by the Republic of Azerbaijan Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev, the Republic of Turkey Baku Embassy representatives, representatives from the media and civil society organizations, and the people of Cocuq Mercanli.

During the ceremony Minister Shahin Mustafayev said that the common projects, which are being implemented in the village of Cocuq Mercanli, are an important sign of the friendship between Azerbaijan and Turkey, and they play a major role in improving the economic welfare of the villagers and providing employment.

15 polyethylene film covered tunnel type greenhouses, each of which has an area of 160 m2, were equipped with drip irrigation systems and they were handed over to 15 families along with seeds, fertilizer and agricultural equipment. At the same time, in order to support the families for vegetable production, consultancy services will be provided within 3 months. The Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Economic Development will provide assistance for the sale of the vegetables, which will be grown in the greenhouses, in domestic and international markets.

As part of the project, 15 different families were given 10 bee colonies, which makes 150 beehives in total. They were also supplied with beekeeping materials and medications. The honey and beekeeping products that will be produced in the beekeeping enterprises will be packaged in the honey packaging facility set up by TİKA within Mountain Beekeepers Social Union and they will be offered in domestic and international markets under the brand “Karabağlı.”

Thanks to the beekeeping and greenhouse projects that were implemented, beekeeping enterprises generated an income of USD 2,500 annually per family and greenhouse enterprises generated an income of USD 5,000 annually per family and helped 30 families living in Cocuq Mercanli have money to live on and enjoy better economic conditions.

In April 2016, after a 4-day battle, Lele Tepe hill was recaptured by the Azerbaijani army and Cocuq Mercanli was saved. After the recovery, in the initial stage, the State of Azerbaijan completed the construction of houses, a school, a health center, a mosque and other infrastructure work for 50 families and last year, 50 families, who had to leave the village due to armed conflicts but wanted to come back, were relocated in Cocuq Mercanli. Once the families resettled in the village, their employment and the improvement of their economic and social wellbeing became prominent issues and as Azerbaijan’s biggest supporter, Turkey extended a helping hand through TİKA.