Tag Archives: organic

There are 18 active, certified, organic agricultural producers in Armenia which are being supported by the EU to find new markets. 29 September 2016 marked the start of these projects – these fall within the Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI), which is funded by the European Union and co-funded and implemented by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). OASI also announced additional support for Armenian small farmers and farmer groups.
img_1272Among these beneficiaries is Suren Harutyunyan: ‘I have been producing teas and oils for many years, and I wanted to export the products to Europe. But, I saw no interest in my products because of high competition. I was told that these same products would be popular if they were organic. I started to produce only organic agricultural products and now I export these to Germany, Finland, Switzerland, and France. With the help of OASI I will get new and more modern equipment which will boost my production and allow me to export to more countries’.
img_1282Tigran Ghazaryan was also one of the 18 grant recipients: ‘I do not have an agricultural education, however I think that I am a successful farmer. For 10 years I have produced a large variety of berries. Now with this support I’ll increase my income and I hope to export berries’.
John Barker, the International Aid/Cooperation Officer of the EU Delegation to Armenia, talked about the EU support for agriculture: ‘The EU is committed to developing Armenian agriculture. Now we are doing it through our ENPARD and OASI projects. I know that the requirements to achieve organic certification are not easy, but not impossible. I really encourage you to take part in this new call for proposals, as we want as many farmers as possible to become certified organic producers. This will give them more opportunities to be able to sell their products in Armenia, Europe and even the USA, where there is a large Armenian Diaspora.’
Armenian Minister of Agriculture Ignati Arakelyan noted that Armenia had great potential for organic agriculture and that his ministry would continue to help Armenian farmers achieve better results. Developing organic products should increase profitability and new potential markets.
Managing Director of ADA Martin Ledolter mentioned that Austria is among the top 3 countries in the world for organic produce. OASI will help Armenia to develop further organic agriculture and promote support small-scale farmers to boost production, market better and find new markets.
Certificates for the 18 grant projects were awarded to the beneficiaries. Those farmers who want to apply for the next call have a deadline of 24 October 2016 at 16:00.

The launch of the EU-funded “Organic Agriculture Support Initiative in Armenia” (OASI) project took place on 15 December 2015. This project will help to develop the potential of Armenian organic agriculture. The budget of OASI is €3.3m and will be implemented over the course of three years.
ARS_0112The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Antoni Świtalski, underlined the importance of agricultural development for Armenia: ‘The EU has two main reasons for supporting agriculture in Armenia. The first is that we believe that agriculture has the potential for growth and development for the country. Armenia still needs to build capacity to develop agriculture. There is also a very big gap between the capital and rural villages. For Armenia to move forward, it is imperative to try to close this gap. Through our activities and engagement we want to help Armenians to consolidate social coherence. We are happy to support OASI, as it confirms our commitment to the rural sector in Armenia, and will complement support that is already being provided through the EU-funded ENPARD programme, on which we are also cooperating very successfully with the Austrian Development Agency’.
Armen Harutyunyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, stated that Armenia had great big potential for organic agricultural production: ‘Organic agricultural development is a priority defined in the Sustainable Agriculture Development Strategy of the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture. It aims to support farmers and agribusinesses to invest in organic agriculture, increase production, explore new international markets and ensure the availability of organic products locally’.
This project is specifically aimed at increasing the local value-add of Armenian organic products, as well as at assisting the higher efficiency of relevant public and private institutions. It will support the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture to create a clear and enabling legal environment for organic producers and processing in line with international standards. OASI will also strengthen extension services for the promotion of organic technologies and support educational institutions through the development of agricultural curricula.
A large portion of project support will be rolled out directly to Armenian producers and processors through a call for grant applications. Small grants are available for smallholder farmers seeking to start, diversify or expand organic production, while bigger grants will be available to already established organic farmers, cooperatives and processors to enhance productivity and market access.