Meeting of donor organizations involved in VET sector development

 Strategic Development Agency non-governmental organization, jointly with the RA Ministry of Education and Science, on December 13-14, 2018 within the framework of the “Vocational Education and Training Development in Syunik Region” program hosted the second meeting of donor organizations involved in VET development programs.

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, RA Deputy Minister of Education and Science, thanked the donor organizations for the work done for development of  VET sector, he emphasized that the results of this work will be visible and will have an impact on the economy of RA in a short period of time. Hovhannes Hovhannisyan underlined the need to carry out a needs assessment to identify the gaps in the sector and highlighted introduction of new professions in high technology trends that can be implemented also through short-term training.

At the end of the first day, representatives of invited organizations were honored with the diplomas from the Ministry of Education and Science of RA for their active participation and contribution to reforms related to primary and secondary vocational education.

 

“LIVESTOCK DEVELOPMENT IN ARMENIA: SOUTH-NORTH” Project launch and Steering Committee meeting took place

On 31st of October, 2018 the official launch of “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North” Project and first steering committee meeting took place in Vanadzor.

The Project 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.

The Project targets households involved in cattle breeding, actors of milk and meat value chains and Local self-governing bodies of 88 rural settlements of the northern marzes of RA, including Shirak, Lori, Tavush, and Gegharkunik.

The Project’s long-term goal is to contribute to inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth of livestock-depending rural communities in Northern regions of Armenia through the facilitation of private sector development and intensifying the economic relationship between Armenia and Georgia.

The event was aiming to present main directions of the Project interventions, up to date implemented activities and to stimulate discussion with different stakeholders.

Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, regional agriculture development departments of Lori, Shirak, Gegharkunik, and Tavush marzes and beneficiary communities, as well as representatives from the Donor organizations and other stakeholders participated to the event.

 

The third workshop on “Program Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas: Pastures and Grasslands” was organized

 The third Workshop on “Program Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas: Pastures and Grasslands” took place at Ani Plaza Hotel, on 26th of October, 2018.

The workshop official opening was followed by the Platform’s new partners’ introduction, who joined the platform “Environmental Law Resource Centre”, “Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development Foundation” (CARD) and UNDP-GEF “Introduction of Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes of North-East Armenia” Project.

During the workshop, the ongoing outcomes of the “Sustainable Pasture Management” component of IBiS program were presented and discussed, along with the process of developing the concept for sustainable management of feeding landscapes (pasture and grassland), as well as the issues that hinder the sustainable pasture management.  The concept of an online platform, to be created for sharing manuals, guidelines and researches, was brought to public attention.

Representatives of RA Ministries of Agriculture, Territorial Administration and Development, Nature Protection, local, international and scientific institutions participated in the workshop.

“Program Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas: Pastures and Grasslands” is initiated jointly by Strategic Development Agency NGO (SDA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supported Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus (IBiS) programme and Agricultural Development Fund (CARMAC ll-project).

 

The annual Cheese Festival was held in Tashir

Tashir’s Day celebration and the annual cheese festival was held in Tashir town on 14th of October. Cheese festival was organized by Tashir municipality and supported by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO within the framework of “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North” Project.[1]

Tashir has a long history of milk production and processing. Almost all companies and private entrepreneurs involved in cheese production in Tashir and adjacent communities, as well as some beneficiaries of SDA’s projects from Lori (“Grand Milk” SP[2], “Lori Milk” LLC, “Vigen Grigoryan” SP, “Gagik Manukyan” SP), Shirak (“Haykavan Milk” SP), Tavush (“Tigran Shahnazaryan” SP ) and Gegharqunik regions (“Roza 1” AC[3]) participated in the festival. They presented varieties of dairy products giving an opportunity to the festival guests to taste and appreciate high quality of their produce.

Tasting of cheese, wine, and sweets along with the concert program made the event a real celebration for numerous guests and residents of Tashir town.

 


[1] Financed by the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

[2] Sole proprietorship

[3] Agricultural Cooperative

 

The opening ceremony of the “Milk and Dairy Technology” profession experimental laboratory

The opening ceremony of the “Milk and Dairy Technology” profession experimental laboratory took place at Goris State Agricultural College on September 26, 2018.

The Experimental laboratory of «Milk and Dairy Technology» profession has been founded with the support of «VET development in Syunik marz» project, which is being implemented by the «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 financed by the Swiss organizations HEKS/EPER(Swiss Church Aid) since October 1, 2016.

During the event welcoming speeches were made by the head of department for VET Development at the RA’s Ministry of Education and Science Mr.A. Aghbalyan, deputy mayor Mrs. I. Yolyan, the project manager of “VET Development in Syunik Marz” Mrs.L. Hovhannisyan and the director of Goris State Agricultural college Mrs.N. Avetisyan. Representatives of Syunik Regional Administration and Goris Municipality, various employers, representatives of NGOs, professors, students and others guests were present at the event.

After the official opening, the guests were given an opportunity to have a tour in the laboratory. The establishment of the “Milk and Dairy Technology” profession experimental laboratory is a great achievement for Goris State Agricultural College. Students will learn cheese and dairy production technologies and will be given an opportunity to combine theoretical and practical knowledge gaining skills in demand for the job market.