Ganja Agribusiness Association (GABA), located in Ganja, Azerbaijan, is a national non-governmental organization whose mission is to promote sustainable development of the country’s agrarian sector through human potential development, knowledge and resource transfer. GABA has supported small-enterprise development in Azerbaijan since 1999 by means of building the capacity of targeted entrepreneurs with the purpose of their effective social and economic growth through training, information support and resource mobilization.
GABA was subsequently founded by those scientists who assisted the newly formed government in agrarian reform and the division of Azerbaijan’s agricultural land. A predecessor organization was first formed in 1996 by these leading scientists. Three years later, working with the Eurasia Foundation and funded by USAID, Ganja Agribusiness Association was created; one year later it was registered by the Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan.
GABA is the primary organization in Azerbaijan promoting organic agriculture. In the year 2000, GABA assumed a leadership position by initiating the promotion of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture came in response to environmental issues as well as to the fact that Azerbaijani farmers were still suffering from the reorientation and restructuring process – the conversion of the land from the collective farms to individually owned land in 1996. Access to farm resources especially fertilizers, pesticides, and veterinary products were difficult to obtain and/or expensive. Organic agriculture provided an option for the Azerbaijani farmers to develop a sustainable agriculture production system in an environmentally supportive and economically sound way. Since its initiation in 2000, more than 2000 farmers have been trained in organic agricultural methods and 332 have advanced to the stage of applying for organic certification of their products. The last several years have been very productive for GABA’s organic initiative, multiple organic agriculture projects were initiated in 2004, GABA initiated the study of Organic Agriculture Management at the Azerbaijan State Agrarian University, and the organic certification body AZEKOSERT and soil laboratory were established in 2006.
GABA is Azerbaijan’s first NGO to pursue this quality management system. On August 13, 2010, GABA was notified that Swiss certification body SGS had certified GABA under ISO 9001-2008 system of certification.