US helps milk processing in Azerbaijan’s Saatli


U.S. Embassy’s acting Deputy Chief of Mission Carter Wilbur and Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Economy Sahib Mammadov opened a newly renovated milk collection and processing facility in Guneshli village in Saatli.

The facility will produce the first ever yellow cheese in Azerbaijan.

Representatives from the Saatli Executive Committee, municipal government and local community also attended the opening.


When local residents heard about the Socio-Economic Development Activity funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Azerbaijani government, they knew exactly what they needed. USAID’s local partner East-West Management Institute worked with community leaders from the five villages to renovate the antiquated milk collections facility, which could not handle the amount of milk produced by local farms, causing farmers to lose profits on milk that spoiled before they could sell it. The local farmers also decided to invest in equipment and supplies for making yellow cheese.

The facility’s new equipment will process milk and produce dairy products much quicker than before, accepting more milk from local farmers, reducing the amount of milk lost to spoilage and increasing farmers’ incomes. The renovated facility can now process all the milk stored into cheese, with the capacity to store 20 tons of milk and produce 400 kg of white brinsen cheese and 500 kg of yellow cheese a day. The facility will boost the local economies of Guneshli, Nasimikand, Fatalikand, Shirinbay and Varkhan villages, home to more than 12,700 residents, making Saatli cheese stand out from other cheeses in Azerbaijan.

"The additional income means farmers will be able to invest more in their cattle, not only providing them grass, but also giving them special feed. This will result in higher quality milk and therefore a higher quality product,” said Karam Gochiyev, a local farmer from Guneshli who also worked to plan the project.

Together, the United States and Azerbaijan have implemented 120 community projects in 105 Azerbaijani communities, benefitting more than 206,000 people. These projects promote cooperation between citizens, donors, and government to advance socio-economic development and improve quality of life in rural areas.