18 - July - 2012

For the first time in Armenia, CARD has introduced the LASA Agro modern portable laboratory to enable farmers to conduct soil, water and nitrate tests reliably and quickly in their greenhouses. The portable laboratory will help Armenian greenhouse farmers increase their production and efficiency, and is under the auspices of the USDA-funded “Effective Greenhouse Management” project. Beginning in June, as part of the project, a specialist from a German-based company STEP Systems GmbH, Mr. Pavel Shishkin, was invited to Armenia to conduct training on the use of the mobile laboratory.

The training was held on CARD premises and in the fields with the participation of young agronomists from Armenian State Agrarian University, greenhouse owners from the Ararat and Armavir regions, and CARD specialists.

The portable laboratory will be placed in Armen Simonyan’s trial plots in Darakert village, in Ararat marz, where the majority of farmers are involved in greenhouse farming. Mr. Simonyan, a fairly sophisticated greenhouse owner, has extensive experience in vegetable production and greenhouse farming.

He, along with the young agronomists, will provide consulting and mobile laboratory services to more than 300 farmers in the region by applying the “farmer to farmer” model for knowledge exchange.

The regular use of this laboratory will provide quality assurance for greenhouse production. Farmers will be able to perform regular checks of nitrates in soil, water  and plant tissue samples which will ensure reliable production of vegetables, and in turn resulting in greater agricultural yields through more precise fertilization.

STEP Systems GmbH, an innovative company, deals with the development, production and distribution of portable analysis systems and tools, specially designed for the application of soil, water and air testing and monitoring. Long and extensive experience in the field of horticultural and agricultural soil and water analyses has made STEP Systems the leading company in this field.