Roundtable on food security in the South Caucasus | EUNewsletter

Roundtable on food security in the South Caucasus

23 May 2014
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A roundtable discussion entitled “Improving regional food security in the South Caucasus through national strategies and smallholder production” was organised within the framework of Europe Day Information Week. Margarita Hakobyan, Country Director of Oxfam Armenia, opened discussion by giving an overview of her organisation, its main goals and objectives.
Hakobyan noted that global scarcity of natural resources and population growth are making local agricultural products crucially important. She said that smallholders had a key role to play, and that there were over 50,000 of them in the Armenian regions. Oxfam has initiated a set of measures to provide them with a proper working environment. Also, in recent years Oxfam has opened 18 cooperatives, 5 of which are run by women. Hakobyan expressed hope that their actions would result in better conditions for farmers and more effective development of local agricultural production.
The International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Armenia, John Barker, assured all the participants that the European Union was determined to support Armenians: ‘Back in 2008, during the crisis, food prices in European countries rose significantly, as a result of which the development of local agricultural products became essential for living. This is the idea this whole project is based on’.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Armen Harutyunyan, highlighted several key issues that the Armenian government was interested in solving within the framework of this project. Firstly, he implied that human capital should be used efficiently, as Armenia and the EU highly evaluated the importance of human capital. For this purpose, the government has been providing professional education opportunities and short-term training courses. Secondly, he mentioned the establishment of corresponding judicial institutions. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work on building appropriate conditions for smallholders all around Armenia.
The four-year “Improving regional food security in the South Caucasus through national strategies and smallholder production” regional project is being implemented by Oxfam with funding from the Europan Union amounting to €596,460. Its most important objective is to reduce hunger in Armenia by half by 2015.

Roundtable on food security in the South Caucasus

A roundtable discussion entitled “Improving regional food security in the South Caucasus through national strategies and smallholder production” was organised within the framework of Europe Day Information Week. Margarita Hakobyan, Country Director of Oxfam Armenia, opened discussion by giving an overview of her organisation, its main goals and objectives. Hakobyan noted that global scarcity of natural resources and population growth are making local agricultural products crucially important. She said that smallholders had a key role to play, and that there were over 50,000 of them in the Armenian regions. Oxfam has initiated a set of measures to provide them with a proper working environment. Also, in recent years Oxfam has opened 18 cooperatives, 5 of which are run by women. Hakobyan expressed hope that their actions would result in better conditions for farmers and more effective development of local agricultural production. The International Aid/Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Armenia, John Barker, assured all the participants that the European Union was determined to support Armenians: ‘Back in 2008, during the crisis, food prices in European countries rose significantly, as a result of which the development of local agricultural products became essential for living. This is the idea this whole project is based on’. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Armen Harutyunyan, highlighted several key issues that the Armenian government was interested in solving within the framework of this project. Firstly, he implied that human capital should be used efficiently, as Armenia and the EU highly evaluated the importance of human capital. For this purpose, the government has been providing professional education opportunities and short-term training courses. Secondly, he mentioned the establishment of corresponding judicial institutions. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work on building appropriate conditions for smallholders all around Armenia. The four-year “Improving regional food security in the South Caucasus through national strategies and smallholder production” regional project is being implemented by Oxfam with funding from the Europan Union amounting to €596,460. Its most important objective is to reduce hunger in Armenia by half by 2015.