The Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) Foundation has established a Farm and Veterinary Service Center in the Aragatsavan community of Aragatsotn province, within the framework of the USAID-funded Partnerships for Rural Prosperity (PRP) program. The specialized center will focus on the development of the veterinary and animal husbandry sector in Armenia and will promote advanced techniques and practices in farm business development.
The official launch ceremony of the Farm Service Center (FSC) was held on April 25 with the participation of the RA Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sergo Karapetyan, the head of USAID Armenia Karen Hilliard, RA Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mr. Armen Harutyunyan, CEO of Small and Medium Enterprise Development National Center of Armenia Mr. Levon Mnatsakanyan, Director of “Agricultural Project Implementation Unit” State Agency Mr. Gagik Khachatryan, Director of “Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development” (CARD) Foundation Mr. Gagik Sardaryan. Representatives from USAID, CARD, and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia, which implements the PRP program, as well as community members were also in attendance.
In his welcome speech the RA Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sergo Karapetyan highlighted the long-established cooperation between the United States and Armenia in agricultural sector: “This is the 14th FSC established in Armenia, and by 2020 it is planned to have similar centers all over the country. Considering the recent increase in the livestock number in Aragatsotn province, and the focus of this marz on animal husbandry and veterinary services, this center will be of particular importance for the farmers”, he said.
The new center in Aragatsavan will provide a package of services to local farmers and link them with international companies that provide supplies, equipment, and information on new technologies for veterinary and animal husbandry. The center will offer up-to-date equipment and tools for artificial insemination and veterinary services and will facilitate market linkages and access to finance for Armenian farmers and rural small and medium size enterprises.
The FSC will host workshops and training programs by Armenian and foreign experts for more than 2,000 local farmers from 7 communities in Aragatsotn. The center will also serve as a venue for hands-on seminars for the students of the Armenian National Agrarian University.
After the tour in the FSC the RA Minister of Agriculture Mr. Sergo Karapetyan met with the community farmers and addressed their questions and concerns.
This is the fifth FSC established trough USIAD-funded PRP and DPESSA rural development projects.
Within the framework of the PRP program, USAID will fund the establishment of another Farm Service Center in Kotayq, which also will be specialized in the provision of veterinary services.