Mr. Rufat Mammadov is a visiting scholar from the Republic of Azerbaijan to the University of Illinois. He was born in Guba, Azerbaijan, and he received his master’s degree in plant protection from the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University in Ganja, Azerbaijan. Rufat works at the Guba Regional Agricultural Science Center in northeastern Azerbaijan. His major responsibility is providing information on management of diseases and insect pests of fruit crops to the farmers of the Guba region. Rufat arrived at the University of Illinois on August 31st and will return to Azerbaijan on December 30th, 2016. He is conducting research and extension studies on diseases of fruit crops in Professor Mohammad Babadoost’s program in the Department of Crop Science.
Mr. Sahil Guliyev is a Ph.D. student in plant protection at the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University (ASAU), Ganja, Azerbaijan. Sahil arrived at the University of Illinois on August 19th and is scheduled to return to ASAU on December 19th, 2016. The main goal of his visit is to be trained as a plant disease diagnostician. He is conducting studies in Professor Babadoost’s laboratory and the Plant Clinic in the Department of Crop Sciences. Professor Babadoost has a close connection with ASAU and he has been helping to establish a plant clinic at ASAU (the first plant clinic in Azerbaijan and the Caucuses Region). Azerbaijan has tremendous potential in agricultural and horticultural crops production, but considerable crop losses to diseases and insect pests occur every year. Establishing a plant clinic at ASAU is expected to help to increase yield and quality of crops in Azerbaijan. Also, the plant clinic at ASAU could become a model for similar clinic in the Caucuses and Central Asia Regions.