The Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) Foundation has established a Farm Service Center in the Poqr Vedi community in Ararat province, within the framework of the USAID-funded Partnerships for Rural Prosperity (PRP) program. The specialized center will focus on the development of the horticultural (garden cultivation and management) 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 July 31 with the participation of the head of USAID Armenia Karen Hilliard, Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan, First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations Vaché Terteryan, and Governor of Ararat Marz Rubik Abrahamyan, as well as representatives from USAID, CARD, and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia, which implements the PRP program.
The new center in Poqr Vedi 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 horticultural management. The center will be equipped with up-to-date laboratory equipment for soil, water, and plant analysis, 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 2,500 local farmers from 20 communities in Ararat. The center will also serve as a venue for hands-on seminars for the students of the Armenian National Agrarian University.
This is the second FSC specialized in horticulture that USAID and partners have established in Armenia this year. The first FSC was opened in Norapat, Armavir, in May 2015. Within the framework of the PRP program, USAID will fund the establishment of additional two Farm Service Centers in Kotayq and Aragatsotn, both specialized in the provision of veterinary services.