Armenia creates over 50 co-op farms as part of a €25m EU scheme

As many as 53 new co-operatives have been established in Armenia as part of a European Union-funded project which launched last year.

The agriculture development project has a budget of €25m and another €1m will be provided by the Austrian Development Agency.

The project is part of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) – a joint initiative for sustainable and inclusive development of a free market economy in the partner countries, employing co-operation to advance growth and employment.

Armen Harutyunyan, Armenia’s deputy minister of agriculture, said: “The key aim of the project is to support structural reforms in Armenia’s agriculture ministry, to improve laws and to develop co-operative farms.

“Co-operative farms are very effective for creating additional cost in agriculture. We should keep moving in this direction, assess results of investments and encourage farmers to join the co-operatives.”

He added that more programmes aimed at developing organic agriculture – as well as supporting farmers with necessary equipment and materials for farms – are being implemented now. Other campaigns are being run to export crops and develop local markets.

EaP involves the EU, its member states and six eastern European partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. As well as agriculture, it has flagship projects in the energy, environment and municipal development sectors, among others.

Based on the idea of multilateral co-operation, the scheme addresses problems shared by the partner countries collectively whilst promoting and encouraging co-operation.