An opening ceremony for the Farm and Veterinary Service Center (FVSC) in Azatan community of the Shirak Marz was held on September 25th, 2012. This is the second center established by CARD Foundation with the financial support of OPEC Fund for International Development andAustrian Development Cooperation (ADC) which supports with the trainings and capacity building. The first one was established in 2011 as part of the USDA-supported Animal Health Project in Sarnakunq community of the Syunik region and served as a unique model.
The establishment of such centers is aimed at developing the private veterinary and business service capacities in the country. The Center in Azatan community will also offer a number of services including veterinary services – disease prevention and treatment, access to animal health medicines, veterinary input supplies, farm supplies, technical assistance, links to supply market, as well as business development information and financial services. The FVSC will serve the local veterinarians, livestock farmers, small and medium enterprises and private entrepreneurs throughout the region.
At the event, among the honorary guests, present were the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sergo Karapetyan, Head of World Bank Project Implementation Unit Gagik Khachatryan, Deputy teritorial minister Mr. Terteryan, Deputy Marzpet Mr. Harutyun Arshakyan, Azatan community mayor Vardan Ikilikiyan, CARE International representatives, Heifer International Georgia representatives, a specialist from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES)Mr. Hubert Weinberger.
In his opening remarks CARD Director Gagik Sardaryan thanked the RA Ministry of Agriculture and Mr. Sergo Karapetyan in particular for their trust and support in the establishment of such centers through CARD. Mr. Sardaryan also made highlights on CARD-Heifer Armenia and Heifer Georgia cooperation in the framework of which Artificial Insemination (AI) projects are implemented in Armenia, and with Georgian partner, ADC-funded trainings are organzied for the vets of both countries. Besides, through ADC funds, CARE international in cooperation with CARD Foundation is implementing an information service system at the Center.
“This can be considered as a launch of a new process in terms of state and private sector cooperation. Within the framework of the state project we will continue to establish such centers in six other regions of Armenia which will provide a wide range of services to livestock farmers and vets, and contribute to the development of animal husbandry in our country. The centers must also focus on the provision of seminars and training programs for vets and farmers as it is well recognized that we have few specialists in the field of veterinary and animal husbandry. Quite often farmers face challenges to organize their everyday works at farms due to the lack of international experience. So, this is very important for us and we will provide our direct support to have such centers in all the regions of Armenia. I highly welcome this initiative and want to congratulate the populace of the region for such a great gift and that they will have a chance to run their cattle farms with modern methods and technologies”, said the Minister of Agriculture.
After the ribbon cutting, a tour was organized, after which the Center hosted its first group of participants for the training to be conducted by the AGES specialist Mr. Hubert Weinberger under the auspices of the ADC-funded “Animal Health Management in Cross Border Areas of Armenia and Georgia” project.