40 producer groups will be supported by the EU | EUNewsletter

40 producer groups will be supported by the EU

16 February 2016
ARS_5018

During the week of 8-12 February 2016, 40 farmer groups in Shirak, Lori, Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Aragatsotn marzes presented their agricultural business plans for production of buckwheat, non-traditional vegetables, fruit and berries. The farmers had developed their business plans over the past 2 months supported by experts from the EU-funded “European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development” (ENPARD).
Producer groups in Lori introduced their business plans on 10 February. Three of the eight groups were all women. Alvard Davoyan from Vardablur village gave us some insights in why she and the other women in her group had joined: ‘When we had decided to take part in this project, we first did some research on products. We learned about the health benefits of broccoli and chose it. We are five women in our group; however, when our production starts, we will need 20 more women for the field work so others in our community will benefit too’.
ARS_5000Speaking to John Barker, the EU Delegation project manager he shared that the objective is to help Armenian citizens: ‘As a very large proportion of them live in villages, we are designing agricultural projects. We started this project one year ago – we’re not just working with farmers, but also with the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture to help to develop its capacities. That said, today we have seen the real results of our support at the farm level’.
Babken Babayan is ENPARD Armenia’s Technical Adviser on Producer Group and Value Chain Development and he shared how farmers are selected: ‘During the first stage we received about 200 applications from different production groups. Now we are in the final phase, during which the best business ideas are selected. The teams will receive cash and other support to put their ideas into practice and develop their businesses’.
In Vanadzor, where the presentation took place, 8 business ideas were presented. Each business plan was uniquely designed and reflected the local geography and weather conditions, the team sizes, available resources, other group characteristic and support from others in the communities. The farmers, confident and optimistic, presented the agricultural profile of their communities, the projections of their production, marketing, co-funding and financial plans, cost and profit estimations as key elements of their business plans.
Hrair Yeghubyan from Mets Parni and 14 other farmers from his community decided to invest in buckwheat production; however, they need an EU grant to extend their production: ‘I have lots and lots of experience in agriculture, and I know that agriculture cannot be developed without support. In the Soviet period our community was very developed, but now we don’t have any agricultural infrastructure. From our research I know that Armenia imports several thousands of buckwheat annually, which means that there is a good market for it’.
The production groups will receive agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilisers) and necessary equipment (machinery, tools) for the first year of production from the ENPARD. Further down the line, producer groups will be supported to register as agricultural cooperatives and institutionalise their activities, as well as receive agricultural inputs to start production.
ENPARD is a 3-year project financed by the European Union that supports sustainable agricultural development in Armenia. One of its components, “Producer Group and Value Chain Development”, is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with top-up funding coming from the Austrian Development Agency. The business plan presentations in February 2016 illustrate the support to agricultural cooperatives and engage producer groups effectively in value addition.

40 producer groups will be supported by the EU

During the week of 8-12 February 2016, 40 farmer groups in Shirak, Lori, Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Aragatsotn marzes presented their agricultural business plans for production of buckwheat, non-traditional vegetables, fruit and berries. The farmers had developed their business plans over the past 2 months supported by experts from the EU-funded “European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development” (ENPARD). Producer groups in Lori introduced their business plans on 10 February. Three of the eight groups were all women. Alvard Davoyan from Vardablur village gave us some insights in why she and the other women in her group had joined: 'When we had decided to take part in this project, we first did some research on products. We learned about the health benefits of broccoli and chose it. We are five women in our group; however, when our production starts, we will need 20 more women for the field work so others in our community will benefit too’. ARS_5000Speaking to John Barker, the EU Delegation project manager he shared that the objective is to help Armenian citizens: 'As a very large proportion of them live in villages, we are designing agricultural projects. We started this project one year ago – we’re not just working with farmers, but also with the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture to help to develop its capacities. That said, today we have seen the real results of our support at the farm level’. Babken Babayan is ENPARD Armenia’s Technical Adviser on Producer Group and Value Chain Development and he shared how farmers are selected: ‘During the first stage we received about 200 applications from different production groups. Now we are in the final phase, during which the best business ideas are selected. The teams will receive cash and other support to put their ideas into practice and develop their businesses’. In Vanadzor, where the presentation took place, 8 business ideas were presented. Each business plan was uniquely designed and reflected the local geography and weather conditions, the team sizes, available resources, other group characteristic and support from others in the communities. The farmers, confident and optimistic, presented the agricultural profile of their communities, the projections of their production, marketing, co-funding and financial plans, cost and profit estimations as key elements of their business plans. Hrair Yeghubyan from Mets Parni and 14 other farmers from his community decided to invest in buckwheat production; however, they need an EU grant to extend their production: ‘I have lots and lots of experience in agriculture, and I know that agriculture cannot be developed without support. In the Soviet period our community was very developed, but now we don’t have any agricultural infrastructure. From our research I know that Armenia imports several thousands of buckwheat annually, which means that there is a good market for it’. The production groups will receive agricultural inputs (seeds, fertilisers) and necessary equipment (machinery, tools) for the first year of production from the ENPARD. Further down the line, producer groups will be supported to register as agricultural cooperatives and institutionalise their activities, as well as receive agricultural inputs to start production. ENPARD is a 3-year project financed by the European Union that supports sustainable agricultural development in Armenia. One of its components, “Producer Group and Value Chain Development”, is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with top-up funding coming from the Austrian Development Agency. The business plan presentations in February 2016 illustrate the support to agricultural cooperatives and engage producer groups effectively in value addition.