CARD HELPS SMALL‐SCALE ENTREPRENEURS DEVELOP POST‐HARVEST PRE‐PROCESSING AND MARKETING CAPACITIES

15 - February - 2011

The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) implements “Development of post‐harvest pre‐processing and marketing capacities of cooperatives in Armenia” funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The main objective of the program is to support agricultural cooperatives in Ararat, Armavir and Vayots Dzor regions, and to assist the sustainable development of newly founded and operating cooperatives.

In the frames of the project CARD Foundation supported agricultural associations by providing 962 vineyard and orchard tools, about 500 plastic boxes for post‐harvest handling, 30 hay mowers/cultivators, 50 sprayers and over dozen of equipments for viniculture. 872 members of 21 cooperatives of Ararat, Armavir and Vayots Dzor marzes benefited from the project.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Armenian agriculture has been facing severe problems. Levels of food consumption for large percentage of the population fell far below the poverty line. The production yield has been low as a result of poor qualities of agricultural inputs and inadequate farming practices. A major change took place in the cultivation of basic food crops at the expense of fodder crops, fruit trees, vineyards and industrial crops.

In support of these problems and above‐mentioned goals, many initiatives have been implemented to assist the Armenian agricultural sector. These includes design and research of potentials and constraints of sustainable fruit and vegetable production at farm level, development of refrigerating and packing, marketing and branding, milk production improvement, strengthening of local capacities for technical assistance, food safety and sanitation, establishment of local input distribution network, friendly pest/disease control products, plant nurseries, etc.