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YEREVAN, Armenia (January 28, 2013) – Heifer International’s Armenia program, working in collaboration with other international institutions, has provided more than 104 pieces of agricultural equipment to 33 farmer cooperatives through the Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC) project.
Distributions of the agricultural equipment followed pasture management trainings in several regions of Armenia, and enable the farmers to make the best use of their land and provide better fodder for livestock. Smallholder farmers and their families have for years faced a serious need for modern equipment to replace obsolete devices that hampered work and development.
“Now everything is easier; we are able to do all the work on schedule,” said Gevorg Galstyan, president of the Nerqin Tsaghkavan Community Cooperative. “Before we got the equipment, we might have harvested only 30 percent of our optimal yield. Now we don’t face such problems any longer.
“The quality of the grass has also improved,” Galstyan said. “All of this has truly been a path to salvation for rural Armenians.”
So far, Heifer Armenia has supported 33 smallholder cooperatives in six marzes (districts) by placing more than $400,000 worth of equipment. Heifer Armenia will continue its commitment to rural revitalization in the country by supporting another 22 farmers’ groups by the end of the CARMAC project.
The objective of the CARMAC project is to reverse environmental damage caused by unsustainable grazing, increase the economic viability of small farms through infrastructure improvements and increase productivity to reach more markets. The $23.3 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.
About Heifer International:
Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or call (800) 696-1918.