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The history of Armenian agriculture dates back thousands of years; the fertility of Armenian soil is legendary. However, a rich harvest is not enough – you need to find a market and consume the harvest at the right time.
Green Lane, an Armenian NGO, has organised the ‘Rural Life and Traditions Festival’ to bring this produce from different marzes to and exhibit it in Yerevan. The festival is supported by the Armenian government, the municipality of Yerevan, and the financial assistance of the EU.
‘This festival is not only about marketing and advertising products produced in rural areas in Armenia, it is an occasion for all Armenians to be proud of their agriculture and witness the potential of this sector of the economy. We in the EU Delegation believe that Armenian agriculture has a bright future; the philosophy underpinning the EU’s engagement through ENPARD is that agriculture in Armenia can be a very powerful engine for growth’, – said the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski.
14492393_1823025571263428_4280893982913460197_nGnel Mkhitaryan from Aragatsotn marz brought more than 40 types of his products and talked about his engagement with EU projects: ‘I have been producing high-value products for 10 years, but they were not popular in Armenia and I had problems selling them. Many people in Armenia have not heard about broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, or kohlrabi. Since taking part in the EU’s OASI project, I now have the opportunity to take part in training, learn more about organic agriculture. I have now applied for certification. I have not been using fertilisers for many years but when I get the certificate my products will be considered officially “organic”’.
14433006_641789732648478_1525038997027052568_nSiranush Andreasyan from Shirak marz is a leader of the Mets Mantash cooperative, a cooperative of 5 women who produce cheese. She brought the cooperative’s cheese products to the festival and sold them all: ‘Before ENPARD we were producing Lori and Chanakh cheeses. Now, with the support of the EU, we will produce European type high-value cheese. Everything is being prepared and we have the equipment. As soon as we resolve some gasification issues we will start production – we are being taught how to use these new technologies by experts. Usually we sell our products only in our marz, but now we want to export it to Yerevan and even beyond’.
Did you ever think you would ever see Armenian broccoli, artichokes or even cheese in European supermarkets or food markets? This fantasy is now coming true due to the support of the European Union.