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Easter, Zatik in Armenian, is one of the most favorite and anticipated holidays in the Christian world. Everybody greets each other on this day, saying, "Christ has arisen," receiving the response, "Blessed is the resurrection of Christ." During the Lenten fasting season 40 days before Easter, Armenian families put lentils or other sprouting grains on a tray covered with a thin layer of cotton, and keep it in a lighted place in their homes until Easter, when sprouts appear. These green sprouts, symbolizing spring and awakening of nature, are the "grass" on which people place colored eggs to decorate the Easter table.

In Armenia, the demand for eggs rises on the eve of Easter, when families buy 2-3 dozen eggs to boil and color. They use the festive eggs to decorate the Easter table.

Since the egg is useful and rich in nutrients, its demand is high not only on Easter eve, but almost year-round. This is probably one of the reasons Nelly Arshakyan, a 13-year-old girl from the Business direction of the YES Youth Club functioning in Dalarik community of Armavir region decided to start a small egg production business in her community.

Nelly's Business Plan

In the framework of Heifer Armenia's YANOA (Young Agriculturists Network of Armenia) project, members of the Business direction of YES Youth Clubs are provided with small seed grants to develop business plans and realize their business ideas, based on the theoretic knowledge they gain during business classes.

Since egg production is profitable, Nelly decided to start her own business. She received 40,000 Armenian drams (AMD), or $100, as a seed grant, and plans to buy 40 chickens for AMD 800, or $2, each. She will spend the remaining AMD 8,000 on medicine and feed for the chickens. According to Nelly's business plan, in three months the chickens will already be grown enough to lay eggs. In the beginning, Nelly is going to save the money she earns from the sale of eggs and pass on the same amount she received to another member of the Club's Business direction as a seed grant. After that, Nelly is going to invest money generated from her sales into her small business to enlarge it.

Nelly's initiative of starting an egg production business and her active engagement in the Club's activities are indeed admirable and praiseworthy. Hopefully next spring she will already have eggs for sale so that we can buy them for Easter. Buying eggs from Nelly will be mutually beneficial, since we will have home-produced eggs and Nelly, in turn, will earn money.

Story by Liana Hayrapetyan, Heifer Armenia Communication and PR Officer.

Donate to Heifer's Armenia Small Farmer Project.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.