ENPARD Technical Assistance: Producer Group and Value Chain Development

What we do

 Broccoli cultivation in Armenia

Agriculture is one of the core sectors of Armenia's economy and the main source of income generation for livelihoods in rural areas. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, agriculture constitutes 19.3 percent of Armenia’s GDP and contributes substantially to rural employment, as 36.3 percent of economically active population is involved the sector.[i] Out of total 915 communities of Armenia 866 are rural, constituting around 36 percent of the total population,[ii] therefore, the advancement of agricultural sector is essential to the rural poverty alleviation and rural area development.

The European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) launched in Armenia in January 2015 and will last for three years. The Programme is designed to support the agricultural institutions, encourage the development of farmers’ associations and improve access to more affordable food in the European Neighborhood countries.

Within the framework of the Program, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will provide technical support to the Government of Armenia in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, local authorities and other stakeholders. UNIDO and UNDP will join efforts to strengthen and establish producer groups and engage them effectively in value chain development. FAO will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture for institutional development and policy harmonization, as well as in the roll-out of the national agricultural census. 

“ENPARD Armenia Technical Assistance: Producer Group and Value Chain Development” project is implemented by UNIDO and UNDP. The overall objective of the Technical Assistance project is to support the Government of Armenia in ensuring an efficient and sustainable agriculture that contributes to better conditions in rural areas of the country. The technical assistance component focuses on producer groups and value chain development, production volume expansion, product development, technology upgrading, marketing, as well as introducing best agricultural practices and disaster risk reduction systems. The direct beneficiaries of the project are agricultural producers, members of producer groups and their employees, their families and SMEs along the value chains, as well as Armenian consumers. Women, youth and other vulnerable groups are in the spotlight of the project.

The project is anticipated to have the following outputs:

Output 1, led by UNDP, in collaboration with FAO and UNIDO:             

Strengthened and newly established primary producer groups. Within the targeted value chains and marzes, the project will develop effective, sustainable new producer groups as well as assist and strengthen existing ones in the various stages of their development.

Output 2, led by UNIDO:

Producer groups effectively engaged in value addition. The project will support the building of physical infrastructure as well as human capacity and skills that enable producers to add value to primary agricultural production.

Output 3, led by UNDP, in collaboration with FAO and UNIDO:

Strengthened value chains that provide improved access to affordable, better quality food. The project will identify and develop key intervention points at any level within the selected value chains that will benefit not only stakeholders of those value chains but also Armenian consumers locally and nationally.

It is also important to note, that the project is in line with:

·        the national development priorities and specific policies set by the Armenian government, with regards to the development of the agricultural sector, as set forth in the 2010-2020 Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy of the Republic of Armenia;

·        the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2010-2015 which describes the areas of cooperation between the UN System and the Government of Armenia towards addressing the economic, social, governance and environmental challenges facing the country;

·        the EU assistance priorities to contribute directly to achieving the Eastern Partnership key objective of reduction of economic and social disparities.

Some results so far

 Buckwheat collection process

·        41 primary producer groups (involving more than 600 farmers) have received training in cooperative establishment, business skills development and business plans preparation.

·        The producer groups were supported to register as agricultural cooperatives and thus, by the end of 2016, 39 primary production cooperatives were registered.

·        Within the framework of the project first time in Armenia wide-scale buckwheat cultivation and processing was initialized. 551 farmers from 67 communities are involved in 33 cooperatives of buckwheat production, representing Shirak, Lori, Aragatsotn, Kotayk and Gegharkunik Marzes. The project has provided the buckwheat producer groups with quality seeds and fertilizers (based on soil analysis) for cultivating around 550 ha land. In average, 1.2 ton of buckwheat yield is recorded per hectare for the year 2016.

·        The primary production cooperatives of buckwheat are united around 2 head (cluster) cooperatives in Tsovagyugh and Bavra communities. Accordingly, 2 buckwheat processing factories are established in Bavra and Tsovagyugh communities, where the cooperatives will have their crop hulled and processed.

·        4 women-led non-traditional vegetable producer groups have been provided with tunnel greenhouses (with drip irrigation system), broccoli seeds and cultivation tools.

·        1 fresh fruit producer group of farmers with disabilities was provided with agro-machinery, and 1 berry production group received berry saplings and a drip irrigation system.

Who finances it?

European Union $ 1,351,063
Austrian Development Agency $ 510,547

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