“Platform for Sustainable Coordination of Natural Fodder Areas in Armenia” kicked off with a working meeting

The kick-off meeting for the creation of a “Platform for Sustainable Management Coordination of Natural Fodder Areas” took place on March 23 in Yerevan. The platform is a joint initiative of Strategic Development Agency (SDA) within the framework of its “Livestock Development in the South of Armenia” project (funded by Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC)), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) within the framework of its “Integrated Biodiversity Management Programme” and the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) (implementing CARMAC II project of WB). The platform aims to ensure efficient cooperation and coordination between organizations functioning in the area of pasture management in Armenia. This will promote the viability of programs and investments in the area of cattle farming thus increasing farmers’ economic well-being and promoting rural areas’ social-economic development.

Representatives of other stakeholder agencies, such as the Ministry of Nature Protection of RA, Ministry of Agriculture of RA, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of RA, UNDP, the Agrarian University and others participated in the meeting. During the workshop Deputy Minister of Agriculture of RA Ashot Harutyunyan noted the important role of the platform in his speech. The participants proactively discussed the importance and the current state of sustainable management of natural fodder areas in Armenia, the idea and the vision of the platform based on the current concept paper. They ended up with a more precise timeframe for upcoming activities and a clear vision of more tangible results in near future.

“Livestock Development in the South of Armenia” Project is implemented by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) and funded by Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC). It is aimed at increasing economic opportunities and incomes of male and female farmers involved in animal husbandry in Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions. It covers 100 rural communities of Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions with a population of about 60,000 people or 14,000 households.

Swiss Delegation Visit to “Yerpin”

The President of the Lower House of the Swiss Parliament and the Co-chairman of Switzerland-Armenia parliamentary friendship group Mr. Dominique de Buman heading the delegation of Swiss parliamentarians paid his first visit to Armenia, after being elected as the President of the National Council.

One of the first places the delegation got to see during the visit taking place in the period of 3-8 February 2018, was “Yerpin” Agricultural Cooperative of Yelpin rural settlement in Vayots Dzor marz.

“Yerpin” Agricultural Cooperative is a high-value cheese production cooperative uniting cattle farmers from Yelpin village. With the support of the “LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF ARMENIA” Project and other development initiatives such as: ENPARD Project of UNDP, USAID etc., it has enhanced and reequipped its milk collection and production capacities and started producing new types of cheese, namely, “Lori”, “Chanakh”, “Gouda” and “Parmesan”, thus, ensuring a stable milk market for the farmers of Yelpin and nearby rural settlements.

During the visit, the parliamentarians of the two countries were taken for a tour around the Cooperative and shown the process of cheese making and conditions of where the cheese is being kept and ripened.



Visibility of Projects Realized in the Sphere of Food Safety

A seminar dedicated to the visibility of the projects realized in the sphere of the food safety took place on 20-21 January, 2018 in Tsaghkadzor. The event was held by the State Service for Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture of RA with the support of the “LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF ARMENIA” Project (implemented by “Strategic Development Agency” NGO and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and was aimed at informing journalists about the changes in the sphere: both already implemented and upcoming ones. More than 40 representatives from local media and the mentioned structures participated in the two day seminar.

“Strategic Development Agency” NGO and the State Service for Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture of RA give a priority importance to human health and security assurance in the areas of food products, veterinary and phytosanitary that led to the beginning of the cooperation between these two structures. It started with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September, 2017.During the event there have been presented awareness raising activities, current initiatives being implemented in food safety area, issuance of sanitary passports for bread transporting vehicles and transition to meat production at slaughterhouses, existing gaps in the field and new projects aimed at enhancement and development of food safety system through rating, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system implementation and animals’ registration.

During the event, journalists had an opportunity to participate in all discussions and get detailed answers to their questions from the professionals of the sphere.

 Such events will take place throughout the whole period of the campaign


A workshop dedicated to the annual result summary and the discussion of the upcoming steps of the “LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF ARMENIA” Project, which is implemented by the “Strategic Development Agency” NGO and financed by the “Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation” took place from the 19th to 21st of December, 2017 in Jermuk.

Around 100 representatives from the Local Self-Governing Bodies and Regional Administrations of Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes participated in the workshop.The event started with the opening speech of Mkrtich Ayvazyan, the Chairman of the “Strategic Development Agency” NGO, and the presentation of the aim of the meeting by the Project Manager Karina Harutyunyan.

The results and the discussions of the Project interventions in the fields of improved access to meat and milk markets, development of capacity building of Local Self-Governing Bodies, improved capacities of farmers involved in animal husbandry, as well as improvement of the veterinary services and artificial inseminations of the cattle were presented afterwards.During the meeting, Cooperation Memorandums were signed between the “Strategic Development Agency” NGO and the Municipalities of the target communities of the Project that stated their willingness to put joint efforts in the development of agriculture and livestock sector for the benefit of the increased income and expansion of economic opportunities of the farmers in those communities.

The “LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOUTH OF ARMENIA” Project includes 100 rural settlements, with more than 60,000 inhabitants (around 14,000 households), of Goris, Tatev,  Sisian, Tegh, Gorayq, Qajaran and Kapan communities of Syunik marz and Areni, Vayq, Gladzor, Yeghegis Jermuk and Zaritap communities of Vayots Dzor marz.