Pieces of training on effective pasture management and gender awareness have been launched

During March-April of 2019,  Strategic Development Agency NGO’s project team planned to conduct a series of training in Gegharkunik region on effective pasture management and gender awareness for primary and key stakeholders of “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North project”.

The pieces of training were organized in the municipalities of Shoghakat and Tchambarak of Gegharkunik region. In total 71 farmers and representatives of local self-government bodies participated in the training. Due to the training, participants became aware of pastures effective management and gender mainstreaming in the SDA’s projects.

Strategic Development Agency NGO, highlighting women economic empowerment, pays special attention to the needs of women in the rural areas, ensures their equal participation in decision-making processes and supports them to equally benefit from basic services and improved or established infrastructures.

The trainings were organized in frames of “Livestock Development in Armenia, South-North” Project, which is implemented  by Strategic Development Agency NGO, and financed by the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

 

Training for teachers on “Advisory Service Provision”

In the framework of the “VET development in Syunik marz” project, workshop on developing competences of teachers of Goris State Agricultural College and ANAU Sisian branch for organizing courses on extension services in the field of Milk Technology and Veterinary took place in Goris State Agricultural College from 26-28 February, 2019.

In total 6 teachers from both educational institutions participated in the workshop.

The workshop has been organized by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO in partnership with HAFL (The School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences of the Bern University of Applied Sciences) and was conducted by Johannes Brunner, an expert from HAFL.

The main objectives of the workshop were to strengthen competences in developing of short-term courses in advisory services for market players in milk and meet value chains, to work with different methods in adult education and to lead and apply different instruments in change-management processes.

During the 3 days of the workshop participants get to know what “Extension” means and what are the main functions of the extension worker. By being involved in group works and discussions the participants could learn about different communication models and how to apply them in individual and group counseling. Participants also learnt about important principles of working with adults and which attitudes and approaches should be used in adult education.

Through role plays participants could develop own consulting cases and try the instruments and methods provided and to realize how to properly plan and implement the advising processes.

As a result of the workshop participants developed basic skills and knowledge in the field of providing advisory services which they will use for developing and conducting short-term courses for the representatives of private sector.

 

Thematic trainings on the monitoring, effective use and sustainable management of communal pastures

In January-February of 2019, a series of training on pasture management were organized for local self-government bodies and pasture users from seven communities of Vayots Dzor and Syunik marzes. The pieces of training aimed to improve the capacity of self –government bodies, community specialists and pasture users regarding natural feeding areas and pastures monitoring, development of the sustainable management plans for pastures use on the community-level, scheduling, preparing and implementing rotational grazing, as well as other practices/functions for effective pasture use.

For the organized trainings the following materials were used: The guideline entitled “Manual for Monitoring of Pastures, Armenia”, “Guidelines for Development and Implementation of Sustainable Management Plans for Pastures and Grasslands” published by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)  as well as “Effective Management of Natural Feeding Areas” and  “Fodder production on natural feeding areas and arable lands and environmental protection” training manuals developed by the Strategic Development Agency NGO’s Expert Group.

The trainings were organized in the framework of “Livestock Development in South of Armenia” project implemented by the Strategic Development Agency NGO and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.                   

 

Discussion on “Problems existing in the market of products produced from milk in Armenia and revealing solutions for them”

Responding to the urgent issues raised by numerous dairy processing companies in Armenia, a round-table discussion on “Problems existing in the market of products produced from milk in Armenia and revealing solutions for them” was organized by Strategic Development Agency NGO and the Food Safety Inspection Body under the government of the Republic of Armenia in Yerevan on 21st of February, 2019.About 60 milk processing companies from different regions of Armenia, representatives of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government, Agriculture and Environment of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia as well as members of several NGOs operating in the field were present at the discussion. The discussion covered the following thematic sections:The current requirements for labeling and packaging of cheese and dairy products in Armenia, their application, existing gaps and impact on the competitiveness of local products produced from milk.Tax policy regulating the cheese and dairy sector (VAT and excise tax) in the Republic of Armenia, existing problems gaps and impact on the competitiveness of local products produced from milk.As a result of the discussion, it is agreed to develop a package of suggestions, which will be submitted for consideration to the Government of the Republic of Armenia.The initiative was organized in frames of “Livestock Development in Armenia, South-North” Project, which is implemented  by Strategic Development Agency NGO, and financed by the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

 

 

Boosting efficient fodder production schemes in Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes

The “Strategic Development Agency” NGO continues to implement the “Boosting efficient fodder production schemes in targeted communities” subproject in Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes aiming the introduction and promotion of  different fodder production’s best practices. For 2019 it’s planned to include in the above-mentioned subproject 80 farmers from Gorayk, Sisian, Kapan communities of Syunik Marz and Jermuk, Areni, and Zaritap communities of Vayots Dzor Marz.

The subprogram envisages supporting farmers to effectively cultivate fodder crops. Due to the expansion of cultivated areas and the practice of new and efficient fodder production schemes in the targeted communities of Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes the fodder production will be enhanced, which will contribute to the more efficient cultivation of the fodder crops and the decrease of land cultivation costs, the increase of fodder crops  production, the increase of milk volume, which will create the stable income for the farmers.

Within the framework of the training organized for farmers, the agrotechnical measures for crop cultivation and the business model emphasizing the effectiveness of the fodder crops production are presented as well as the consultations for individual manual’s development regarding each crop cultivation are provided to the farmers.

During the next stages of the project, it is planned to conduct visits to the selected participants’ sites for evaluation of their land resources: soil relief and the mechanical structure, as well as the existence of convenient arable lands for sowing. After completing the training and the soil quality assessment, the third phase of the project involves signing contracts with the participants and acquiring necessary seeds with the project support.

In the spring of 2019, it is planned to cultivate 89 hectares of arable lands, which will be done by the participants, in the result of sainfoin and barley intercropping.

Up to date, from 2015 with the support of the Project in Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes, 558 farmers have improved their knowledge regarding  fodder crop cultivation agro-technologies, and 496 hectares of arable lands have been used for high-value fodder crops production.

Implementation of the “Efficient Fodder Production in Targeted Communities” project is implemented within the framework of “Livestock Development in the South of Armenia” project implemented by the Strategic Development Agency NGO and financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.