Fruit Production Sector Development Project in Armenia (FRUITENIA)
The intended impact of the project is: Increased competitiveness of the fruit production sector among the beneficiary farmers.
The project's expected outcome is: The Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) adopt modern educational practices and farmers adopt modern fruit production methods and techniques to increase productivity in fruit production.
The expected outputs of the project are:
Output 1. In-depth assessment on capacity needs of the fruit production sector conducted.
Output 2. ANAU has the capacity to offer training based on modern curricula, adequate infrastructure and qualified specialists.
Output 3. Established certificate short-term programme in up-to-date fruit production at ANAU.
Output 4. Increased capacity of the TVETs’ teaching staff in modern fruit production.
Output 5. Online e-learning platform established and functioning.
Output 6. Intensive demonstration orchard with modern technologies established.
Output 7. Youth, gender and social minorities' inclusion in agricultural education
The project will target students and teaching staff of the ANAU and the eight agricultural TVETs, smallholder farmers, and youth in Armenia’s rural areas.
The project aims to reach a total of 3,100 direct beneficiaries.
The following main activities are foreseen as part of the project: Conducting an in-depth assessment on capacity needs of the fruit production sector; modernizing the curriculum of Agronomy Department at the ANAU, with the focus on fruit production; establishing a professional short-term certificate programme in fruit production at the ANAU; capacity development of TVET instructors in modern fruit production; developing a fruit production related e-learning platform in Armenian language; establishing a demonstration intensive, environmentally friendly and climate smart orchard; organizing a summer youth camp for students of ANAU and TVETs to generate interest in climate smart fruit production and rural development and retain youth within rural Armenia.
At present, the Armenian agriculture is mainly characterised by the low level of productivity, dominance of subsistence farming, lack of access to modern technology, lack of knowledge on environmentally friendly and climate smart agriculture practices, and lack of qualified specialists. However, agriculture is the main source of income in rural communities and the fruit and vegetable production, along with animal husbandry are the key drivers of agricultural growth in Armenia. The success of agricultural production largely depends on the knowledgeable and skillful workforce, which is provided by the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and Agriculture TVETs. Yet, curricula offered by ANAU and agricultural TVETs are currently largely outdated, and do not correspond to the current demand and needs of the fruit production sector in terms of qualified specialists with modern and practical skills to meet market demand.
The project aims to modernize the agronomy curricula, through introducing new courses and modernizing the contents of the existing ones at ANAU to include concepts of environmentally friendly, sustainable and climate smart modern fruit production approaches.