UNDP continues supporting border communities in Tavush regionNov 15, 2017
Tavush region – A new fruit orchard will be planted in Baghanis village that will boost fruit production in the community. The agro-machinery pool in Sarigyugh-Nerkin Tsaghkavan cluster will help the farmers to better cultivate and collect the crops with minimized loss and maximized profit.
These initiatives are part of the five-year “Integrated Support to Rural Development: Building Resilient Communities” project, financed by the Government of the Russian Federation and implemented by the UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. The project budget is over USD 5 million and is aimed at increasing income-generation opportunities and supporting rural infrastructure in borderline communities of Tavush region.
Today, Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia, Andrey Babko, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Armenia, and Evgeny Panteleev, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia, visited the villages of Baghanis and Sarigyugh in Tavush region to see some of the results of implemented projects on-site.
For the past two years, residents of 26 borderline communities of Tavush region were engaged in a participatory exercise of assessing the needs of their communities and developing community plans together with the UNDP in Armenia. Based on the results of this planning, UNDP will implement a host of sub-projects addressing areas critical for community growth, such as employment, rural development, agro-processing, infrastructure revival, education, healthcare, as well as environmental protection and resilience to natural disasters.
In Baghanis, 2.7 ha of new fruit orchard will be planted for a total of 4 household beneficiaries. This is only part of the total of nearly 30 ha of new orchards that the project will help to establish in the region this year. Walnut trees (1 ha) of middle intensity will be planted producing walnuts in 2 years from now, as well as some cornelian cherries (1 ha) and hazelnuts (0.7 ha). Water-saving drip irrigation systems will be installed in these orchards as part of introducing resource-efficient technologies to the farmers.
To respond to the community needs revealed from the participatory planning process, the Project established an agro-machinery pool for the cluster of Sarigyugh-Nerkin Tsaghkavan communities. A community development foundation “Tsaghkasar” (Flower Mountain) was established to manage the agro-machinery pool and other projects to be implemented in this cluster. For the machinery pool, the Project purchased one combine harvester and one chain tracked tractor, whereas, the community foundation purchased one excavator and constructed the structure of the machinery pool. In addition, the Project will purchase a flour milling complex for the cluster and support one startup farmer to start a bakery business to close the values chain. As a result of these interventions, the wheat fields of the community have been increased by 200 percent already this year. The Foundation also created a wheat seeds revolving fund that purchases higher quality wheat seeds and distributes to the beneficiaries at discount price to foster higher quality wheat production.
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