«Diligence as a boost to prosperity»

Dustrik Galstyan, a 51-year-old farmer, lives in the settlement of Artavan of Zaritap community, Vayots Dzor region, with her son and sister-in-law. Dustrik never cease to develop and improve herself despite her many responsibilites within her family.

Within the framework of the project implemented by the Strategic Development Agency NGO, Dustrik, along with other women, received professional consultations, which helped her improve her knowledge on farm management.

With the support of the program, she participated in various agricultural food festivals, which provided an opportunity to not only generate additional income, but also to gain trust, information and exchange experience.

«I have always been involved in cattle breeding as a way of helping my husband. And now thanks to the workshops, I have gained the knowedge necessary and apply 80% of the consultations to the procedures. I even do monthly calculations, I calculate expenses and incomes, I take notes. Before participating in the program, I had 12 cattle, of which 5 were dairy cows, today I have increased that number to 22, of which 10 are dairy cows,” says Dustrik.

«Only diligence and aspiration bring results. If you increase the number of cattle, you automatically increase the number of profit. As a result of my work, my family’s budget increased, I was able to host a big wedding for my daughters. Courage is half the battle, I say from my experience, because thanks to my courage I was able to achieve many challenges  and I will still achieve them. In addition to cattle breeding, I am engaged in agro-tourism, through which I introduce my guests to rural life and traditions.

Livestock is an integral part of tourism, the tourists that I host usually participate in the milking process, animal feeding and baking. They appreciate the opportunity to use traditional rural products».

Passion is the Key to Success

The Kurghinyan family of 5 lives in Shirak marze’s Krasar village. The family is mainly involved in the livestock sector, never having the need to leave the country and work abroad. The youngsters of the family, after graduating school, have started helping their parents in the farm.

The family has been working in cattle breeding for a while. During the first period, the family owned 6 cows, however after the fall of the Soviet Union, they decided to increase the number of livestock.

«We renovated my husband’s grandfather’s old barns, and we increased the number of livestock. We brought a number of livestock and after getting informed about the Project we decided to apply, as we met the requirements» – Hasmik told.

The family gives the milk produced in the farm to Amasia cheese factory. It is essential to mention, that Amasia cheese factory is a beneficiary to the Project «Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North», for this exact reason, the latter has invited the family to a number of meetings. «We appreciated the fact that the Project supports farmers. We are also aware, that within the framework of the Project, a number of veterinary points were created in different communities. The establishment of veterinary points ameliorated the access to quality veterinary services, the veterinarian is now more accessible and the necessary medicine is more affordable»

Mrs Kurghinyan’s husband, on several occasions, has participated to the educational workshops organized by SDA NGO. Improvement of infrastructure (improvement of pastures, installation of troughs) enabled more success in the livestock sector. The family’s plans include the organization of an automated manure removal system. Taking advantage of the effectiveness of the training, the family even expressed a desire to grow the farm. In Hasmik’s words: «If you do any work with passion, you will definitely succeed. If you do it reluctantly then, you will not succeed in that work».

Khndzorut: The young veterinarian – a source of inspiration

In Khndzorut village of Vayots Dzor the only veterinarian is 29-year-old Sevada. Sevada chose his profession following the advice of the previous veterinarian. Unlike his peers, Sevada has no dreams to move to a city.

On the other side, he is sure, his profession is useful when you live in a village. The young specialist still aims to improve his skills and now he takes distance learning courses at Sisian Agricultural University.

Khndzorut is one of the “new” villages that joined the “Livestock Development in the South of Armenia” project implemented by the Strategic Development Agency (SDA) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) in 2015.

Establishment of a veterinary service point and improving farmers’ access to veterinary and artificial insemination services was amongst the initiatives supported by the project.

Before joining the project, the activities of Sevada Hmayakyan were limited to state order vaccination services only. He had no veterinary equipment and tools, there was no medicine in the village and he was never paid for his work. Moreover, the nearest point to buy medicine was in Vayk town and it could take a couple of hours to get the medicine from there. Therefore, the loss of cattle was a common issue in their village.

In November 2015 a veterinary service point (VSP), equipped with all necessary instruments, medicine, and inputs, was opened in Khndzorut village. The young specialist took part in several trainings organized by the Project during which he improved his skills and also learned to do Artificial Insemination of the cattle.

Today the veterinary point has become a small business for Sevada, he is organizing the supply of medicine and inputs and farmers have started paying not for the medicine but for the service.

Sevada strongly believes that there is no point to leave the village if one has a beloved job. He hopes that Khndzorut veterinary point will be the most famous in the region and he will be the most demanded veterinarian not only in Khndzorut but also in neighboring villages.