«Livestock Development in the Syunik Marz» Project was implemented by Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO and funded by The Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC). The Partners were Ministry of Territorial Administration of Armenia, Regional Administration of Syunik Marz, village authorities, market players in milk and meat sectors.
The overall goal of the project was strengthening of livestock sector in the regions of Goris and Sisian and increase of income for farmers in 40 target communities (about 30,000 people or 7,000 households). Its focus was the livestock sector (milk and meat value chains in particular) using “Making Markets Work for the Poor” (M4P) approach.
In December 2012, a new Project component: “Technical and Institutional Support to Veterinary Services in Armenia” was added to the project being implemented by SDA jointly with FAO. The mentioned project component aimed at strengthening veterinary services public sector in Syunik marz contributing to improvement of the food safety system and sustainable agricultural development in Armenia. Within the scope of this component there were implemented 4 phases of vaccination campaign where 45 veterinarians from Syunik region were selected for each phase of the campaign. A multi-component awareness raising campaign was realized in Syunik region and the vaccination campaign was implemented in all 109 communities of the marz.
In the result of the Project livestock farmers’ cash income has increased by 48% between 2011 and 2013, benefiting almost 3,000 families (in total 7,400 farmers of which 3,320 female) of Sisian and Goris areas. In 2013, about USD 3.3 mln additional cash income has been generated in the meat and dairy sectors in the target area. This achievement is to be compared with the starting/base-line situation when farmers had been mostly bartering their produce and not investing due to lack of sales markets.
37 off-farm jobs were created in farm support services (veterinary, artificial insemination, agricultural inputs and services) sector and milk market. 400 small-scale livestock farms/self-employed (about 1,000 rural inhabitants of which 45% female) newly started commercial sales of livestock produce and got stable cash income opportunity.
Improved access and presence of sustainable farm support services (such as veterinary, AI, pastures etc.) created good environment for investing in livestock and reduced risks associated with animals’ health and care, therefore safeguarding farm assets and increasing farmers’ confidence in maintaining and investing in cattle.
In the frameworks of the “Livestock Development in Syunik Marz” Project Syunik Animal Market was established which main aim is to stimulate the cattle trade by bringing various buyers and sellers/farmers into one organized marketplace and to create favorable conditions for both parties in order to make successful business deals in the field of live animal trade.