Tag Archives: Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI) project

On 30 October, the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski visited Vayots Dzor marz to meet Armenian farmers and witness the results of EU sub-grant projects first-hand. The European Union has supported Armenian farmers for many years through the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) and the Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI) project.

3The first stop was “Trinity Canyon Vineyards” (Aghavnadzor, Vayots Dzor marz). This is one of the 44 farms supported by the OASI project. To expand wine production, “Trinity Canyon Vineyards” received a grant of €29,941 from the EU. The OASI project has provided technical assistance to 27 small farmer groups, and 18 farmers received grants in Armenia. It has provided farmers, cooperatives and processors market information and direct marketing support (labels, brands, packaging, etc.), linked local and global markets (particularly European companies), supported the participation of national and international organic food fairs, as well as helped them to develop and implement awareness-raising campaigns.

27The second stop was in “Yerpin” Agricultural Cooperative (Yelpin, Vayots Dzor marz). It is one of the 6 European-style high-value cheese factories established in six Armenian communities through the ENPARD programme. The EU grant to “Yerpin” was €49,900. As a result of the ENPARD programme, 53 primary producer and processing cooperatives have been established; they have been trained in production and processing of crops, non-traditional vegetables, fruits and berries, cheese, dried fruits and herbs. 39 primary-producer agricultural cooperatives, including more than 580 farmers from 70 communities, had the opportunity to improve their livelihoods. Buckwheat and broccoli seeds, fertiliser, seedlings, processing tools, and agricultural equipment were provided to 39 of these cooperatives. Greenhouses have been equipped with drip irrigation systems in women-led cooperatives. 600 farmers have received extensive training and consultation on best agricultural practices and business plan development. 12 processing cooperatives were provided with laboratory and packaging equipment, as well as consultations from international and local experts on entrepreneurship, business planning, branding, sales and marketing. 2 buckwheat-processing factories have been established, combining 33 cooperatives. 6 dried-fruit and -herb cooperatives use a closed production cycle method to ensure quality products.

16Ambassador Świtalski thanked all sides for hospitality: “ENPARD and OASI have provided support to Armenian agriculture in terms of budget support, technical assistance and grants. We want to develop rural communities/areas, to improve the competitiveness and modernisation of the agri-food sector, and increase the living standards of Armenian citizens. Since 2015 the EU contribution to ENPARD has been €25,000,000; the EU has given €2,800,000 to OASI. “Trinity Canyon Vineyards” is a beautiful enterprise trying to revitalise the Armenian tradition of wine production. They put so much dedication and soul into this endeavour. “Yerpin” produces very delicious Armenian cheese with the potential to make it on the international market. Today is an opportunity for us to speak about the EU’s contribution to Armenian agriculture. The EU is the biggest donor to this sector in Armenia and we are determined to continue our support. We believe that products form Armenia can enter European and other markets, bringing extra benefit to farmers. The European market is competitive, requirements are tough, but it is worth the effort”.