Improving Small Holder Farming through Agricultural Cooperatives and Value Chain Development in Tavush Marz, Armenia
The Overall Objective supports the implementation of the Rural Agricultural Sustainable Development (RASD) Strategy (2010/20), more specifically, the sub-national Regional Development Strategy for Tavush Marz, in line within the Government of Armenia’s agricultural reform process.
Expected results are the establishment of 6 effective cooperatives and strengthening of 9 existing ones (ER1); the agricultural infrastructure development (ER2), such as establishment of new community greenhouses (15 social enterprises) and 1 cold storage collection centre, and the establishment of 1 new processing plant (rural business enterprise); and a more conducive policy environment for pro-poor agricultural change (ER3), including policy advocacy initiatives through the Oxfam led “Agricultural Alliance”.
The project focuses on 15 rural communities in the Tavush Marz of Armenia and benefits 2,000 community members in total. Beneficiaries will be poor men and women small holder farmers, typically owning 1.2 hectares of land, with a monthly income of around $80-$100. Women headed households number 10%-15% of targeted households.
The project advocates on central government level e.g. for an effective Law on Cooperatives, and promotes successful female farmers as role models for other women & men throughout Armenia. Complementary research activities will look at the role / potential of women in the agricultural value chain. The private sector is engaged through marketing initiatives and sensitisation activities. Oxfam works with experienced local partners such as the Business Support Center, a private and self-sustaining consultation and business training company, and the Horizon Fund, a local non-profit organisation, dealing with microfinance programmes in Armenia.