Story and Photos by Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Coordinator
The main focus of Heifer Armenia is improving the livelihoods and economic viability of farmers. Heifer created “Milk for Better Livelihoods Project” to advance farm management practices, establish an integrated dairy chain production and give farmers more access to markets.
Through a partnership with “Ashtarak Kat,” Heifer Armenia targets over 1,000 families to teach them skills to improve the marketing and processing of dairy products. Families receive barley seeds to establish their own livestock feed base and 277 families have already received services to improve their livestock breeds through advanced insemination practices. This will ensure additional income for farmers through increased milk production and larger profit margins.
Recently, Heifer Armenia spoke with farmers directly benefited by the project activities and they shared their experience in the project:
“These new breed livestock are smaller in size so they’re easier to birth. But they grow very fast and in two months their weight is the same as the weight of 3-4 months old calves of other breeds.”
Mekhak Tchagharyan, Vahan community
“I am thankful to this project and the people who made it possible. Being involved in this project my cow was artificially inseminated. And not only my cow but many others of our neighbors’. Before the start of the project, the people in our village didn’t believe in the efficiency of the artificial insemination since they had never faced the positive results it might have. But after they saw the first results, they changed their opinion. At the moment more and more people in our village are eager to be involved into the project to have their animals artificially inseminated. Artificial insemination both increases the livestock productivity and the income of the family!”
Astghik Babayan, Shaghat community
“I raise bull calves and sell their meat. I am already benefiting from this project because it is improving the breed of my livestock and will increase meat productivity. This new breed is already better. My new 1-year-old bull calf weighs the same as my other older calves who weren’t part of the new system.”
Artur Mkrtchyan, Khachaghbyur
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