EU Helps to Reduce Poverty in Ararat Marz | EUNewsletter

EU Helps to Reduce Poverty in Ararat Marz

14 December 2017
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ARS_0115On 9 December, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, paid a working visit to Ararat marz, where he met with the Mayor of Artashat, Karen Beniaminyan. In the framework of the visit Ambassador Świtalski learned about ongoing EU-funded projects in Ararat marz, especially about “Reduction of poverty in Urtsadzor community cluster by developing (self) employment opportunities” project implemented by the Fund for Organic Farming (FOF). This project began in February 2016, supported by the European Union and implemented by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). The Urtsadzor community cluster includes Urtsadzor, Lanjanist and Shaghap communities in Ararat marz; the project also has beneficiaries in Lusashogh. The project will continue until the end of January 2018. The budget of the project is €563,000, out of which the EU has contributed €500,000, and FPWC €42,000. The four communities involved have also jointly raised €21,000. The project aims to bring about long-term economic growth at the community level through local business projects.

ARS_0151Ambassador Świtalski visited also Holani Agro Produce Processing Factory in Vedi. Approximately €2,000 of the project budget was spent on upgrading the factory’s electrical system and industrial capacity. In 2017, villagers collected 4 tonnes of fruits and 2 tonnes of herbs. These were dried and 120kg of dried fruits and 50kg of dried herbs have since been sold using unique packaging for Holani brand. FPWC has a plan to expand the production site and establish a larger factory. In Shaghap the Ambassador inaugurated a new bed and breakfast guesthouse owned by a local history teacher. The project had selected the house from a panel of potential sites for renovation.

ARS_0171Taguhi Manvelyan, the Project Coordinator of FPWC, presented the project results: The project has included more than 50 families as beneficiaries. It has focused on community development, poverty reduction, and job creation. We have started with training: people have received education, developed their capabilities in the fields of eco-tourism and eco-agriculture, and gained business skills to better manage small businesses. They wrote business plans based on their knowledge, we have chosen the best ones for implementation. At the moment, our beneficiaries are engaged in beekeeping, harvesting wild produce and working in agro-factories, as well as managing small businesses. Holani Agro Produce Processing Factory in Vedi produces dried fruit and teas. There is the Holani Honey Factory in Shaghap, as well as two guesthouses. At first, people were sceptical, but over time they began to believe in the project when they saw tangible results. Now many people want to join us. It is certain that we will have more beneficiaries next year.

ARS_0313Later, Ambassador Świtalski participated in the Rural Christmas Fair in Urtsadzor. The Ambassador congratulated all the producers, organisers and volunteers for their hard work. Residents of Urtsadzor, Shagap, Lanjanist and Lusashogh presented their own products at the fair, giving people the chance to buy fruit, vegetables, honey, dried fruit, canned food, nuts, and homemade soujukh and basturma at competitive prices. The event aimed to offer visitors to Urtsadzor high-quality fresh products for Christmas and New Year, thus creating additional income for the villagers.

EU Helps to Reduce Poverty in Ararat Marz

ARS_0115On 9 December, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, paid a working visit to Ararat marz, where he met with the Mayor of Artashat, Karen Beniaminyan. In the framework of the visit Ambassador Świtalski learned about ongoing EU-funded projects in Ararat marz, especially about “Reduction of poverty in Urtsadzor community cluster by developing (self) employment opportunities” project implemented by the Fund for Organic Farming (FOF). This project began in February 2016, supported by the European Union and implemented by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). The Urtsadzor community cluster includes Urtsadzor, Lanjanist and Shaghap communities in Ararat marz; the project also has beneficiaries in Lusashogh. The project will continue until the end of January 2018. The budget of the project is €563,000, out of which the EU has contributed €500,000, and FPWC €42,000. The four communities involved have also jointly raised €21,000. The project aims to bring about long-term economic growth at the community level through local business projects.

ARS_0151Ambassador Świtalski visited also Holani Agro Produce Processing Factory in Vedi. Approximately €2,000 of the project budget was spent on upgrading the factory’s electrical system and industrial capacity. In 2017, villagers collected 4 tonnes of fruits and 2 tonnes of herbs. These were dried and 120kg of dried fruits and 50kg of dried herbs have since been sold using unique packaging for Holani brand. FPWC has a plan to expand the production site and establish a larger factory. In Shaghap the Ambassador inaugurated a new bed and breakfast guesthouse owned by a local history teacher. The project had selected the house from a panel of potential sites for renovation.

ARS_0171Taguhi Manvelyan, the Project Coordinator of FPWC, presented the project results: 'The project has included more than 50 families as beneficiaries. It has focused on community development, poverty reduction, and job creation. We have started with training: people have received education, developed their capabilities in the fields of eco-tourism and eco-agriculture, and gained business skills to better manage small businesses. They wrote business plans based on their knowledge, we have chosen the best ones for implementation. At the moment, our beneficiaries are engaged in beekeeping, harvesting wild produce and working in agro-factories, as well as managing small businesses. Holani Agro Produce Processing Factory in Vedi produces dried fruit and teas. There is the Holani Honey Factory in Shaghap, as well as two guesthouses. At first, people were sceptical, but over time they began to believe in the project when they saw tangible results. Now many people want to join us. It is certain that we will have more beneficiaries next year'.

ARS_0313Later, Ambassador Świtalski participated in the Rural Christmas Fair in Urtsadzor. The Ambassador congratulated all the producers, organisers and volunteers for their hard work. Residents of Urtsadzor, Shagap, Lanjanist and Lusashogh presented their own products at the fair, giving people the chance to buy fruit, vegetables, honey, dried fruit, canned food, nuts, and homemade soujukh and basturma at competitive prices. The event aimed to offer visitors to Urtsadzor high-quality fresh products for Christmas and New Year, thus creating additional income for the villagers.