The Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) Foundation, with USDA funding and in cooperation with the RA Ministry of Agriculture, has established a Farm Service Center in the community of Darakert in Ararat marz to support the greenhouse and horticultural farmers.
For the official opening ceremony, hosted on September 24th, among the honorary guests present were: the RA Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sergo Karapetyan, the Governor of the Ararat Region Mr. Rubik Abrahamyan, the Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Clark Price from the US Embassy in Armenia, the Ambassador of Italy to Armenia Mr. Giovanni Ricciulli, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia and Armenia Mr. Hans Horbach, the USAID Economic Growth Officer Mr. Naren Chanmugam, the USDA FAS International Agricultural Program Specialist Mary Ensch, and as well as representatives from the world famous companies CARD cooperates with in greenhouse sector: Mr. Sergiy Vasilevskyy from the Dutch based Rijk Zwaan company specialized in high quality vegetable seed production, Ms. Lenka Fiume and Ms. Lilly Colucci representing Italian company Plastic Puglia for drip irrigation pipes and Natalia Popova from a German based Spiess- Urania company specialized in chemicals.
In his opening speech, the RA Minister said, “This is a great example of the cooperation between the state and private sectors, and it will become a platform and the best Center for local horticulture and greenhouse farmers to solve problems, to get access to trainings, new technologies, high quality vegetable seeds and a number of services”, said the RA Minister.
Adjacent to the Center, three modern greenhouses have been established for the demonstration of advanced greenhouse management techniques as well as new cultivation tools, equipment and supplies. The demonstration greenhouses will be used for trials of high quality vegetable seeds, new technologies, and innovations in the industry.
“It is the first such Center in Armenia to actually serve greenhouse farmers, so it really is a new beginning. The real point is to aim to help the farmers who need help and access to trainings, extension services, specialized expertise as well as access to inputs and finance. The US Assistance Program will prioritize agriculture because our analysis shows that this sector has a very high growth potential. So, this Center represents a real important milestone for Armenia”, mentioned the DCM Mr. Clark Price.
The Farm Service Center will provide local farmers with access to modern technologies and expertise. It will serve as both a training platform for workshops conducted by Armenian and foreign experts and as a communication platform for more than 500 farmers from 22 communities. The Center will also serve as a venue for hands-on seminars designed for students from the Armenian National Agrarian University.
The Center is equipped with up-to-date laser laboratory equipment from the German-based STEP Systems company for the implementation of advanced soil, water and plant analyses.
The Farm Service Center will provide local farmers with access to modern technologies and expertise. It will serve as both a training platform for workshops conducted by Armenian and foreign experts and as a communication platform for more than 500 farmers from 22 communities.
The Center will also serve as a venue for hands-on seminars designed for students from the Armenian National Agrarian University.
In addition, the Innovative Weather Station imported from the STEP Systems, is installed next to the Center which will provide farmers with more accurate prediction of weather patterns, resulting in more efficient cultivation.
After the ribbon cutting and the tour in the Center and modern demonstration greenhouses, representatives from the Rijk Zwaan, Plastic Puglia and Spiess-Urania delivered presentation on their companies and products.