Construction of the first smart village begins in Azerbaijan
The first smart village in Azerbaijan will use green and alternative energy and a smart management system. At the initial stage, it is planned to build a total of 450 three, four and five-room houses. Is such an undertaking promising? Experts are not in a hurry to give their assessments yet.
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The first settlement of the Fizuli region, which returned under the control of Azerbaijan as a result of the second Karabakh war, will become the smart village of Dovletyarly.
According to the “smart village” project, it is planned to use green and alternative energy there. For this, a solar panel field will be created. The capacity of the investment project will be 50 megawatts. 20 local residents will work on the field.
In total, it is planned to build a total of 450 three, four and five-room houses in the country’s first smart village. There will also be a school and a kindergarten, and it is planned to create a square and a market in the center of the village.
A “smart agriculture” site will be located around the village. Thus, all the necessary work will be carried out so that residents can live comfortably and engage in agriculture.
Business projects will be implemented in the smart village. Thus, it is planned to establish enterprises along the value chain in the field of potato growing. These enterprises will create 40 permanent and about 300 seasonal jobs.
Another 85 permanent jobs are provided in the poultry farm on the territory of the village.
In Dovletyarly, it is planned to form a rural tourism infrastructure and create a hotel infrastructure.
During his trip to Fizuli region, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev laid the foundation for a new “smart village”.
According to economist Elmir Safarli, through the projects “smart city” and “smart village” all production and service facilities in the region will be managed in a unified form.
“This, in turn, will create conditions for the implementation of strong technological projects in the region. Naturally, for investors, both local and foreign, one of the most important indicators is the development prospects of the region. In short, projects of smart cities and smart villages in the future can play a special role in attracting investments in Karabakh”, the expert noted.
The leader of the opposition Movement for Democracy and Prosperity, Gubad Ibadoglu, considers the smart village project attractive. According to him, this method can attract funds from international financial institutions:
“By presenting such projects, it is possible to obtain loans from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, and open the way for appropriations. Because loans and grants are allocated for the green economy. State bodies in Azerbaijan have previously used such projects to raise funds and I suppose that the smart village project can also be turned into a corruption project”.
Economist Rashad Hasanov considers it necessary to think about the infrastructure: “For example, the availability of the Internet is one of such issues. In most regions of Azerbaijan, access to the Internet is provided by a single provider”, he said.
According to the expert, even the population of large cities in Azerbaijan, for the most part, do not know how to use digital technologies:
“Imagine, there are over 11 million bank cards in circulation in the country, but 90% use them only for cashing money. Today, citizens in Azerbaijan receive their pensions and social benefits through cards, but they immediately cash them in, and then stand in queues at banks for hours to make their payments. During the pandemic, there has been a positive shift in this issue, but in particular middle-aged people are not inclined to modern and digital technologies”.