BAKU, AZERBAIJAN (18 August 2021) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Avrora LLC (Avrora) signed a $5.9 million loan to support the livelihoods of workers, farmers, and retailers and promote secure food supply chains in Azerbaijan during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The loan, ADB’s first private sector agribusiness assistance in Azerbaijan, will help sustain the company’s operations and benefit nearly 3,000 employees, about 1,500 farmers and farm workers, and 12,000 family-owned rural stores. The financing will also help Avrora to produce and distribute essential wheat and dairy products to more than 2 million people.
“COVID-19 has severely disrupted food supply chains, reducing the incomes of retailers and farmers and compromising the production and distribution of food,” said ADB’s Director General for Private Sector Operations Suzanne Gaboury. “Large food companies like Avrora are central in keeping supplies of food and essential products moving, thereby mitigating the pandemic’s impact on both employment and food security.”
“ADB’s support will enhance Avrora’s contribution to Azerbaijan’s economy by reducing dependence on food imports and integrating local farmers directly into food supply chains” said CEO and owner of Avrora LLC Jeyhun Abbasov. “As well as providing working capital for Avrora and strengthening corporate governance, it will help us to develop our human capital by creating more job opportunities for women.”
Avrora is one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers and distributors in Azerbaijan. It maintains a diversified portfolio of leading international brands, as well as its own locally manufactured products. Avrora sources more than 40% of its raw materials from rural farmers and distributes over 800 products to more than 12,000 retailers.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.