From March 14-18 “Center for Agribusiness and Rural development” (CARD) Foundation, jointly with AVAG Solutions, hosted a 5-day workshop on “Agricultural Policy”, which was financed and supported by USAID, within Armenia Policies for Growth (APG) Program.
The workshop was devoted to agricultural management issues, as well as the development and implementation of subsidy policy. The target audience of the workshop included representatives both from public and private sectors.
In his welcome speech the RA Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mr. Armen Harutyunyan mentioned: “Developing a better agricultural policy for attracting investments is one of the four basic directions that the RA Ministry of Agriculture focuses on, along with infrastructure development; legal and institutional capacity improvement and access to finance”.
Haykanush Bagratunyan from USAID also welcomed the participants and mentioned: “USAID is very happy to organize the workshop. Agriculture is one of our key sectors. First of all, it ensures the food security of the country, and is also the greatest contributor to the GDP in Armenia. We believe that correctly designed policies can do a lot. Agriculture in Armenia needs significant support in terms of policy support. We can see that productivity is still low, and the government has a lot to do here”.
To conduct the workshop, outstanding experts were invited from Israel; Dr. Efrat Hadas from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Israel and Dr. Yoav Gal, an agriculture expert and consultant. They presented the key factors contributing to the development of agricultural sector in Israel. Based on Israeli experience the participants had the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and new skills that could be tailored and adopted in Armenia. The participants not only gained valuable theoretical knowledge, but also actively took part in the discussion on different topics.
One of the workshop days was devoted to field trips, during which the participants and the experts, accompanied by CARD employees, visited greenhouses and open field farms in Darakert community, Ararat marz as well as “Black Ox” Cattle Farm. After visiting the greenhouses a meeting was held in Darakert Farm Service Center, where farmers and greenhouse owners were provided with the opportunity to address their inquiries to Israeli experts, as well as the representatives from the RA Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Territorial Administration. Referring to Israeli experience the experts said: “In Israel we succeed because we work together: The extension service, The Ministry of Agriculture, The Research Centers and the farmers. Human resource is the number one factor for success”.
The workshop ended with project presentations by the participants, which they had developed during the week. The seminar the participants were awarded with Certificates of Completion.