“Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North 2”

“Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North 2” project is implemented by “Strategic Development Agency” NGO and financed by the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation.

The project is the logical continuation of “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North” Project . The project was developed taking into consideration the successful implementation of livestock development projects in Syunik, Gegharkunik and Shirak marzes and based on the previous phase results and achievements.

The Project’s intended impact is:

Inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth of livestock-depending rural communities in Armenia through improved productivity and enhanced competitiveness of the private sector in the domestic and export markets. The project is based on inclusive market systems development (IMSD) principles focused on developing sustainable service delivery and systematic change with the livestock sector through capacity development of direct beneficiaries.

  • The Project targets households involved in cattle breeding, actors of milk and meat value chains and Local Self-Governing Bodies of 70 rural settlements of Syunik, Gegharkunik and Shirak marzes.
  • The project predominantly focuses on developing sustainable and inclusive service delivery and systemic change with the livestock sector through development of about 140 local actors’ (private and public) capacities and strengthening cooperation and linkages amongst market players and stakeholders involved in milk and meat value chains.

The project will address cross-cutting issues like:

  • environmental protection,
  • climate change,
  • gender equality as well as specific needs of vulnerable people (including youth, women-headed households,
  • disabled,
  • ethnic minorities,
  • displaced population from Nagorno-Karabakh etc.)

Practical exchange visits for knowledge improvement, mutual cooperation and professional development

Within the framework of the farmers’ capacities and skills development component of the “Livestock Development in the South of Armenia” project, during November of 2021, two practical exchange visits were carried out in order to improve knowledge, mutual cooperation, and professional connections.

Two different groups of farmers took part in the practical visits: a total of 66 women and young farmers from 15 settlements of Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes, in particular, from 37 farmers from 8 settlements of Syunik (Bnunis, Ashotavan, Balak, Mutsk, Ltsen, Vorotan, Lor, Brnakot) and 29 farmers from 7 settlements of Dzor (Kechut, Khndzorut, Artavan, Gomq, Martiros, Yelpin).

The farmers visited ta lead farm in the Margahovit settlement of the Lori region, observed the conditions of the barn built with innovative approaches.

The presence of purebred animals and the discussions on productivity made the efficiency of farming more visible. Fodder production is essential for the proper management of livestock. Features of nutrition that have a direct impact on productivity were highlighted. Various fodder rations and technological steps for the cultivation of possible high-value fodder crops were discussed.

The visits were followed by a training course on “Entrepreneurship Capacity Development”, which included detailed, interactive discussions, games, and exercises.

Farmers were provided with booklets and brochures on various spheres of cattle breeding.

A meeting-discussion on “Impact of COVID-19 on AI service”

On November 6-7, a meeting-discussion with 40 general AI technicians from Syunik and Vayots Dzor marzes took place under the title “Impact of COVID-19 on AI service”. On the first day, a meeting took place with the AI technicians of the Vayots Dzor region and another meeting in Syunik on the second day.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the specialists of the field, to identify the existing problems, to find the optimal ways to solve them. It was clear from the discussions that the two main problems in the sector were the availability of liquid nitrogen and the low number of calls from farmers. However, in comparison, it seems that more farmers have started using the service in the last few years than in previous years, which is already a good result. And a solution to the nitrogen problem has been proposed: to adopt the group storage in one place.

At the end of the meeting, all the AI technicians were given Holstein, Fleck, and Schwick sticks as part of the fight against the epidemic. each technician was provided with a number of sperm rods determined by the number of artificial inseminations performed by each of them. In the fight against the plague, they were provided with gloves and protective masks to make the service process safer.


Challenges in the Tourism Sector in Armenia and the Role of the Armenian Tourism Federation

Being one of the leading sectors of the economy, the problems and challenges related to tourism sphere go beyond the national borders of each country acquiring a global nature. At the national level the existing problems in the field of tourism, the current and upcoming challenges, development prospects were discussed during the “Challenges in the Tourism Sector in Armenia and the Role of the Armenian Tourism Federation” workshop organized by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO on December 10-12, 2021 in Goris town which is located in the south of Armenia in Syunik province.

The event was conducted within the framework of the “Skills and Knowledge Development” pilot project in cooperation with the “Armenian Federation of Tourism” which is a project partner organization in the field of tourism. During the event the Federation presented the activities carried out and all the achievements obtained within the framework of the pilot project, discussed the existing challenges, problems and relevant solutions with the member companies and their representatives.

The representatives of SDA NGO, “Armenian Federation of Tourism”, Syunik Regional Administration, Goris Municipality, as well as the Tourism Committee of the RA Ministry of Economy and “Artsakh Tourism Development Agency” NGO delivered welcome speeches reflecting on the present situation in the sphere of tourism and highlighting the importance of the meeting.

The “Skills, Knowledge and Intermediation Development” pilot project is implemented by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO in the framework of #RECONOMY – a regional inclusive and green economic development program of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with SDA NGO and others in the Eastern Partnership and the Western Balkans.

Tour in Shirak: meetings with project beneficiaries

On November 30, 2021, within the framework of the visit to Shirak region, the RA Deputy Minister of Economy Tigran Gabrielyan toured in the region with the representatives of the Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO, getting acquainted with the work done within the framework of the “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North” project implemented by the SDA NGO.

In particular, the largest milk processing factory in Arpi community – “Voske Ser” LLC, the veterinary point of Ashotsk community, Torosgyugh settlement of Sarapat enlarged community, Azatan community lead farm where numerous projects were implemented by SDA NGO.

During the visits, they met with the owners-beneficiaries, community leaders, as well as veterinarians. The existing problems and opportunities, the work done, their condition, and efficiency were discussed. As well as the “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North 2” project launched in November 2021 was presented during the visit.