Heifer Armeniasupports smallholder farmersthrough the Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC) project
Yerevan, Armenia (July 30, 2012) – Heifer International Armenia has installed new agricultural equipment and is conducting pasture management trainings in the Tavush region of Armenia, with the goal of revitalizing small farms there. Heifer Armenia staff saw visible progress in the sophistication of farming by local cooperatives during a recent visit to project participants.
Heifer Armenia staff visitedthe Tavush region on July 24, 2012 as part of the sizeable Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC)project. The Heifer team was pleased to see that the equipment provided in the first round of the project, in January 2012,was being used to its fullest, producing tangible results for the farmers and their families.
GevorgGalstyan, President of the TsaghkavanPasture UsersCooperative said,“The members of our cooperative could not fully understand the potential of this equipment before we received it. Now we can see how things have changed, and most importantly, our working productivity has risen.”
“The village has been lacking machinery and equipment, and the villagers were not able to acquire it before Heifer Armenia reached out to uswith financial assistance, and so we were finally able to acquire the machinery we needed, «said NairiAtabekyanthemayor of Tsaghkavan.
Heifer Armenia will continue its commitment to rural revitalization in Armenia through the CARMAC project, placing another 200 pieces of agricultural equipmentwith farmers’ groups by the project’s end.
The objective of the CARMAC projectis to reverse environmental damage caused by unsustainable grazing, increase the economic viability of small farms through infrastructure improvements, and increase productivity to gain access to more markets. The $23.33 million project, run by the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture and funded mainly by the World Bank,aims to assist 78,000 people in 55 mountainous communities in six marzes of Armenia. CARMAC has a $10.1 million agricultural component, with Heifer providing $3.7 million. Heifer Armenia has already distributed three tractors and five balers to several farming cooperatives, enabling the farmers to make the best use of their land and provide better fodder for livestock.