Tag Archives: rural

The rural life and traditions festival took place on 26 September 2015 in Yerevan, supported by the EU. More than 70 farmer groups, agricultural entrepreneurs and women’s groups from all the Armenian marzes took part in the festival, which encompassed singing, dancing and theatrical performances, a wide variety of arts and handicrafts made by local artisans and craftsmen, and farmers’ produce.
ARS_9070John Barker, the International Aid/Cooperation Officer in the EU Delegation to Armenia, spoke about the importance of the event: ‘The EU is delighted to support now already the second festival of rural life and traditions,. Why is this festival so important? Farmers in Armenia understand how difficult it is to find markets for their products – nobody creates markets for them and they have to find them by themselves. Therefore, we brought farmers from all over the country to help them to find markets for their products. I ask you to walk around, buy their products and encourage them. Last year during this event I promised that the EU would start an agricultural programme; now, as I promised, we started the ENPARD programme’.
Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Garnik Petrosyan welcomed guests and congratulated participants: ‘I want to congratulate everybody on this event. This is a very good occasion to present Armenian villages, traditions and farmers here in Yerevan’.
Different prizes were given to participants for the best table, best woman farmer, best performance, etc.

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The EU Delegation to Armenia and the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture have issued a joint statement on current activities being undertaken in the “Producer group and value chains development” programme. This is being implemented within the framework of the “European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD)”. The EU is supporting the establishment of agricultural cooperatives through ENPARD, as well as strenghtening existing cooperatives, building business capacity, increasing production volumes, developing products, upgrading technologies, marketing, and adding value post-harvest, as well as introducing best agricultural practices (drip irrigation, etc.) and disaster risk reduction (anti-hail nets, anti-frost) systems. The project will be implemented in six Armenian marzes: Shirak, Lori, Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Kotayk and Vayots Dzor.
ARS_4767John Barker, an International Aid/Cooperation Officerin the EU Delegation to Armenia, went into the details of the programme: ‘This programme supports EaP countries and we have an opportunity to help those countries (Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Azerbaijan) in agriculture. The programme has started in Georgia and Armenia, Moldova has stated its willingness to get started in ENPARD, as well as and Ukraine. The purpose of reform in Armenia is to improve the living conditions and economic conditions of farmers and rural communities, as well as to help the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture to have better capacities to implement reform. The EU is providing tehcnical support to the Ministry to increase its capacity, with the help of the UN’s Food and Agricultre Organisation. We want to help Armenia to grow more and better products and to help to find more valuable markets for them’.
ARS_4803Armen Harutyunyan, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, talked on behalf of the Ministry and thanked the EU and implementing organisations for the programme: ‘The establishment of agricultural cooperatives, as well as the strengthening of existing cooperatives, is a priority for the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture and we are happy that we have such an opportunity through the programme. We hope to be able to prove the results of this programme by trying the exceptional produce grown by the farmers involved’.
Priority will be given to groups engaged in the production and processing of fruits, berries, vegetables, grain, legumes, milk and dairy products, as well as producer and processing groups with innovative ideas (new technologies, new product). Women and young people are encouraged to participate. Groups should be comprised of at least 5 farmers or 5 founding members from different families who live and carry out their activities in rural communities. Groups must be either a registered or non-registered (i.e. non-formal/newly formed) cooperatives, and demonstrate business orientation.
Application forms are available from the Ministry of Agriculture, the governor’s office, agricultural support centres, and mayors’ offices, or can be downloaded here: www.un.am/hy/procurements. The current deadline for the applications is 15 July 2015.
ENPARD is financed by the European Union and the Austrian Development Agency to ensure sustainable agricultural development. The “Producer group and value chains development” programme is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme. The project was launched in January 2015 and its duration is 36 months. This programme will provide €20 million of budget support for the Government of Armenia to enhance agricultural and rural development. A further €5 million will be provided to support the Ministry of Agriculture and to promote the development of farmers’ groups and value-adding chains throughout Armenia. The Austrian Development Cooperation is providing an additional €1 million to assist farmers’ groups and value-adding chains.

An international meeting is taking place in Yerevan on 14-16 April 2015. During the meeting urgent measures needed to tackle pesticide health risks in former Soviet Union will be discussed. The opening ceremony of the workshop took place today with the participation of experts from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Ukraine. During the meeting experts from six countries will share findings of different studies, consider lessons learned and discuss potential future actions to tackle the problems identified at both national and regional level.
ARS_9490Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Garnik Petrosyan welcomed local and international experts and talked about actions that should be taken to decrease pesticide risks. “Today’s meeting is a very good opportunity for the countries to introduce the work they have done and the results they have achieved. Huge research has been done and we have to understand how we can use it at both national and regional level. All the countries participating in the project are from the former Soviet Union and we share similar problems to which we can find mutual solutions”.
Gayane Nasoyan, assistant at FAO, welcomed the guests of the workshop, introduced the work of the FAO in Armenia and talked about key components of the workshop. “It is a regional project funded by the EU and implemented by the FAO, in collaboration with other partners. This project aims at strengthening the capacity of civil society to contribute to reducing the risk to public health and environment from pesticide use. One of the main focuses is improving awareness of the risks of pesticide exposure amongst vulnerable groups, including women, children and seasonal workers in agriculture”.
The project is funded by the EU and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

The official launch event of the “Single Cross-border Visitor package” (SCBV), developed within the framework of the programme called “Promoting Innovative Rural Tourism” (PIRT) took place on 19 March 2015. PIRT is a regional project aimed at supporting regional cooperation and cross-border partnerships for economic and social development in four Black Sea Basin countries via the promotion of rural tourism.
The project is funded by the European Union and is being implemented by Heifer Armenia (as lead organisation) with partners from Bulgaria (Varna Economic Development Agency), Georgia (Heifer Georgia) and Turkey (Gumushane National Educational Directorate).
A unique tourist package has been developed as part of the project including up to ten rural tourism-related itineraries. Tourist agencies in Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Bulgaria will have the opportunity to sell this new product. Tourists buying SCBV will be able to travel through all four countries with the one package. SCBV will increase the visitor flows on the regional level and contribute to unprecedented cooperation between national authorities in the region and intra-country, aimed ultimately at sustaining the cross-border impacts of rural tourism. Anahit Ghazanchyan, PIRT Project Coordinator, introduced the details of the project, and presented the website and short films advertising the package.
Traian Hristea, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, confirmed the EU’s willingness to support Armenia in its development: ‘I am delighted that the activities of this project will result in stronger regional partnerships and cooperation through integrated utilisation of physical and human resources, and the exchange of best practices aimed at enhancing the standards of touristic products and service delivery. All this will contribute to the economic and social development of the Black Sea Basin region, which is a key objective of the EU’s European Neighbourhood Instrument’.
Armen Harutyunyan, Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, mentioned in his speech that many efforts had been made to ensure the project’s success: ‘This project targets not only the development of tourism but also regional relations with our counterparts. Our region is unique – Armenia is unique in terms of its rich heritage, history, and culture – and we have to demonstrate this to the whole world. These kinds of undertakings allow us to showcase the many advantages Armenia possesses’.
Partners and guests from Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey participated in the event, which was flavoured with regional folk music, as well as displays of national and traditional products and art. Representatives from Armenian ministries, partner governments, foreign missions and embassies, and international and local partner organisations were also invited.
PIRT is co-financed by the European Union through €473,000 in assistance from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. The programme started in November 2013, and is projected to last for 18 months. It will establish cooperation among Black Sea Basin region countries (Armenia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia). Rural tourism is a particular focus – joint efforts of all the parties are promoting initiatives to exploit common, traditional and innovative tourism opportunities.
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