Within the framework of ENPARD Armenia, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) implement technical assistance “Producer Group and Value Chain Development” project. UNIDO and UNDP jointly work towards strengthening and establishing producer groups, and engaging them effectively in value chain addition.
The project is funded by the European Union (€2.4 million) and co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency (€1 million). The project’s governmental partner is the Ministry of Agriculture of RA.
The technical assistance component aims to:
- Strengthened and newly established primary producer groups. Within the targeted value chains and locations, the project develops effective, sustainable new producer groups as well as assists and strengthens existing ones in the various stages of their development.
- Producer groups effectively engaged in value addition. The project supports the building of physical infrastructure, as well as human capacity and skills that enable producers to add value to primary agricultural production.
- Strengthened value chains that provide improved access to affordable, better quality food. The project identifies and develops key intervention points at any level within the selected value chains that will benefit not only stakeholders of those value chains but also Armenian consumers locally and nationally.
The project is implemented in 6 regions (Marzes) of Armenia – Shirak, Aragatsotn, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori and Vayotz Dzor. The beneficiaries of the project are agricultural producers, members of producer groups and their employees, their families, as well as the consumers themselves. Women and youth and other vulnerable groups are given a special priority by the project.
Currently the project works with 53 cooperatives of primary production and processing across 5 value chains – high value field crops, non-traditional vegetables, fruit/berries, high value cheese and dried fruit/herbs.
- Primary Production
39 primary production agricultural cooperatives involving more than 580 farmers from 70 villages of Armenia are given an opportunity for improved livelihoods.
- 39 primary production agricultural cooperatives were established and provided with agricultural inputs and necessary equipment to launch and sustain operations (buckwheat and broccoli seeds, fertilizers, berry saplings, cultivation tools and agro-machinery).
- First time in Armenia wide-scale buckwheat cultivation was initiated, a crop traditionally consumed but not cultivated in Armenia. About 640 tons of crop was harvested from over 520 ha cultivated area including 150 ha of unused agricultural land.
- 4 tunnel greenhouses with drip irrigation system were installed in Lori where 4 women-led cooperatives cultivated and harvested 10 tons of broccoli.
- About 600 farmers were provided with extensive trainings and consultancies in Good Agricultural Practices, agricultural cooperative management and business plan development that helped to support their operations and increase production.
- Processing and Value Addition
14 value addition cooperatives receive support to initiate processing operations, including 6 groups which produce high value cheese, 6 groups which produce dried fruit/herbs, and 2 buckwheat hulling factories.
- With the project’s guidance on maintaining the food safety norms the farmers involved in processing have ensured the construction and renovation of the processing premises.
- 12 processing cooperatives were provided with modern equipment, laboratory and packaging machinery, as well as comprehensive consultations and trainings by international and local experts in the field of entrepreneurship, business planning, technology, branding, sales and marketing.
- 2 buckwheat hulling factories, uniting 33 primary producer groups of buckwheat, have received factories and extensive consultations to process and market their production.
- 6 dairy groups produce high quality cheeses (e.g. Gouda) for sales in domestic markets and gradually become known to the customers for their taste and quality, while 6 dried fruit/herbs group practice close cycle drying method and aim for healthy and quality production.
- Extensive value chain and marketing studies have been conducted on domestic and export markets to design the project activities and effective intervention strategy. Unique brand development is done for the producer groups representing the value chains to ensure successful market entry.
ENPARD “Producer Group and Value Chain Development” Project Office
4/6 Tigran Mets Avenue
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (+374) 60 530 000 (ext. 235, 181)