Cow and Garden are Our Main “Providers”

“I’m Seyran Petrosyan, age 51, from the distant Chinari village in the Tavush region of Armenia. Our family is large. I live with my mother, wife and my son’s family. My son Sergey, age 25, is married to Arpine, age 22 – a pretty lady from our village. They have two children, a boy, Seyran, age 3, and a girl, Marianna, who is only one-year- old.

I am handicapped and have problems with my movement. A few years ago, I lost my leg at war. My mother and I are retirees; other members of the family are not employed, as there is hardly any workplace or employment opportunity in our cross- border village, which is always under the attack of Azeri snipers. Before becoming Heifer Armenia’s project participant, we received our only source of income from our garden. My son was hardly making both ends meet with horticulture. We used to generate our poor daily meal by selling fruits and vegetables from our garden.

Everything has changed since Heifer gave us a pregnant cow in the fall of 2008. We started our family farm from this single cow that Heifer gave us. It has already calved twice. Now we have one pregnant heifer and one bull-calf. When we didn’t have a cow, our family had to pay for butter and dairy products. Now we don’t have to purchase these products. My wife prepares them from our cow’s milk. Moreover, the fresh butter from our cow’s milk is very healthy, especially for the kids’ growing bodies. When our small farm expands, we will get even more milk, which we are planning to sell to generate extra money.

Animal husbandry is very profitable. We are planning to sell the bull-calf to buy a female because we want to enlarge the farm as well as use our future income to diversify the agricultural production. We are going to pass-on our pregnant heifer to another needy family to help them also come out of extreme poverty. We are very thankful to Heifer for changing our life.

Our cow gives us about 10-11 liters of milk daily. Now we have both dairy products and fruits and veggies for daily consumption. We sell the milk surplus for 300 AMD (about 80 cents) per liter. I grow fig trees in the garden. Selling figs is no less profitable. Our cow and our garden ‘feed’ us. We thank God for the good harvest and also many thanks to Heifer Armenia for providing us with the cow.”