The development of Armenian dairy industry including cattle farm management is one of CARD’s strategic directions. Feed production and improvement of feed base is another target point. Current feeding practices mainly rely on high-fiber, poor quality forage with a low protein level. In the long run, animals hardly receive adequate nutrition and energy, whereas for maximum performance and healthy animals, optimum nutrition is required. Introduction of feed additives and calf starters is CARD’s solution to the problem.
The idea of CARD-Trouw Nutrition collaboration emerged during the discussions held at PUM Netherlands Senior Experts office as part of the visit CARD specialist Arman Ohanyan paid in the winter of 2012. Then, PUM senior experts Dr. Robert Back and Dr. Wim de Jong linked CARD with the Trouw Nutrition, one of the world leaders in animal nutrition and fish feed, and facilitated the future collaboration.
As a result, Trouw Nutrition Regional Marketing specialist Kornelis Hooghiemster and dairy specialist Peter van Dooren were invited to Armenia to provide on-site consultancies and conduct workshops for CARD vet specialists and farmers on feed additives and concentrates.
Visits were paid to cattle farms in the Aragatsotn and Shirak regions, where the ruminant experts examined the feeding practices, food ratio and overall conditions of the animals and accordingly provided their advice for the problems encountered at cattle farms.
For the introduction of minerals, feed additives and starters, presentations were made for nearly 15 farmers at CARD office and for a group of 17 at the Farm and Veterinary Service Center (FVSC) in Azatan community of the Shirak region.
“We have very good expectations of the ruminant market in Armenia. Though, there is a lot of room for improvement, especially on basic animal nutrition, with good products we can help the farmers grow”, said Mr. Hooghiemster. “The seminars were very productive and audience was enthusiastic, farmers were eager to learn. Even though we didn’t cover certain subjects as we focused on calf nutrition, vitamins, and minerals, we could see that there is a lot of interest”, added Mr. Hooghiemster.