Tag Archives: “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project

On 19 July the Amasia wool-processing factory, supported by the European Union, began operations. The factory was established within the framework of the “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project. The EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Świtalski, RA Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Vache Terteryan, and the Governor of Shirak marz Tigran Petrosyan, together with other officials of the state, regional organisations and guests participated in the official opening of the Amasia wool factory. They took a short tour in the factory to see the new equipment and wool-processing techniques, as well as to speak to employees.

Ambassador Świtalski thanked everyone for coming and mentioned that it was an honour for the EU to support such a project: “Greetings to the wonderful people of Amasia, who live in a wonderful corner of Armenia. I hope very much in the coming years this place will be the future of Armenia. This project has been developed and implemented by a consortium of partners and I want to thank them for the wonderful idea and for their dedication to make it real. For me the main advantage of this project was Amasia itself. I visited Amasia before and I thought this place needed new impetus. So I want to thank all the people involved in the implementation of this project”.

Deputy Minister Terteryan welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support: “The factory will promote economic activity, create new jobs, and reduce unemployment in the region. This project is unique among PRDP projects because it was more ambitious – the proposed action follows a value chain development approach for woollen products, from sheep to customer. If we succeed here, we will have a good base from which to solve this problem in other livestock breeding regions of Armenia. I hope the factory will not only expand its production volume, but also export geography”.

The wool produced in Amasia and neighbouring villages is known to be exceptionally thick, with up to 16 natural colours. This makes it ideally suited for the production of carpets, rugs and various textiles. Annual production capacity of the factory is 25 tonnes of wool.  Within “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project, wool-processing specialists were trained by professionals from Europe and Armenia. They gained the necessary skills to work in the new factory or elsewhere in the wool sector. Moreover, the project offers funding opportunities to local 14 small- and medium-sized enterprises operating within the newly established wool value chain. This will increase their market competitiveness and support economic growth in Shirak marz. The factory has 16 employees and is expected to have 23.

“EU4 Shirak: Wool for jobs” is being implemented by People in Need – Armenia (PIN) in cooperation with Women’s Development “Resource Centre” Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Shirak marz and the Amasia Municipality. It is co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia through the Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP). The project has a total budget of €549,819 (the EU contribution is €335,000) and it will run until 2020.

ARS_0639On 20 May the “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” project was officially launched in Amasia, Shirak marz. The project is financed through the Pilot Regional Development Programme. The launch event was attended by the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, the Armenian Minister of Agriculture, Arthur Khachatryan, and the Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Suren Papikyan. The experience of the “Wool to Carpet” studio in Shinuhayr community in Syunik marz was presented to the guests to give them the full picture of the expected results for Amasia.
The proposed action follows a value chain development approach for woollen products, from sheep to customer. A wool-processing factory will be established in the community of Amasia, creating at least 20 jobs. To create further new jobs and contribute to economic development, the project will finance 14 proposals offered by SMEs, providing at least 40 new jobs. About 150 job seekers registered in employment centres will develop their skills through training, raising their competitiveness in the labour market. This EU-funded project will also contribute to the development of sheep breeding in the region by providing a stable income for local farmers. The two-year project has a total budget of €549,819 (the EU contribution is €335,000). The project will be implemented by People In Need – Armenia (PIN), in cooperation with Women’s Development “Resource Centre” Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Shirak marz, and the Amasia Municipality.

ARS_0761EU Ambassador congratulated those who have worked hard for the project: ‘The EU is very committed to promoting regional development in Armenia. This project is one of several which we have launched in different marzes. To me, this region is one of the most beautiful corners of Armenia and I am so grateful that we can cooperate on new development ideas, create new jobs, and bring hope to the citizens of this marz. This commitment to regional development is long term; we hope very much that the new government can take this commitment forward, and that we can start new initiatives’.

ARS_0812Minister Papikyan welcomed EU support for the equal development of Armenian marzes: ‘The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development attaches importance to the equal development of Armenia; we have been in constant dialogue with the EU since 2009. The aim of this cooperation is to ensure the implementation of projects and initiatives which complement regional development priorities and bring effective and sustainable results’.

ARS_0848Khachatryan spoke more about the implementation of the project: ‘This project is aimed at restoring traditional sheep breeding. In Armenia, we used to have over 2 million head of cattle – today’s number is barely a quarter of that. We should be able to develop sheep breeding, taking into account the ever-lasting demand for meat. To have good woollen products, we need to have good sheep, but we cannot imagine good sheep without a feeding base, without good cultivated lands, etc. The project take a value chain development; thousands of households will enjoy the impact of this indirectly. If we want to prevent emigration, we should not have more than 40% of non-cultivated land in the country. We need to support smaller producers and processors, not just large businesses. This project can be a great example’.