WFP expands its presence in Armenia with a new office in Syunik to boost agriculture
Since the farmers of Syunik lost access to lands and pastures after the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, WFP is investing in more efficient land resources to enhance the agricultural sector in that region and improve the life quality of the people living there.
“There is a lot of potential in Syunik region, and we want to enhance agricultural infrastructure and create additional opportunities for people. WFP effectively cooperates with the Government of Armenia and engages with the community members to promote sustainability in the region, identifying and addressing challenges,” said WFP Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge, Ms. Nanna Skau. “WFP’s projects aim at strengthening food systems and ensuring access and availability to adequate and nutritious food all year-round while promoting agriculture through investments in climate-sensitive solutions,” she added.
At the end of 2021, WFP started implementing an irrigation water infrastructure project in eleven villages across four communities in Syunik region. The construction of more than 35 km of irrigation canals will water more than 1000 hectares of land, promoting agricultural development that will enhance market opportunities for vulnerable farmers and create opportunities for farmers to effectively engage in high-value agriculture.
In addition, to promote the economic viability of agricultural activities in Syunik, WFP is investing in the profitable legume value chain. The goal is to give local communities better access to food and knowledge related to agribusiness while at the same time providing employment opportunities for both men and women.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the RA Ministry of Economy, Syunik Marzpetaran and the UN World Food Programme to promote resilience in Syunik by promoting investment in climate-sensitive, economically sustainable food systems. The MoU will increase the productivity and profitability of farms and improve agricultural infrastructure.
“We congratulate WFP on opening a new office in Syunik region,” said Deputy Minister of Economy, Mr. Arman Khojoyan. “The presence of the office in Syunik and the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding will increase the productivity and profitability of small and medium farms in the region.”
Within the framework of the project, WFP works with the National Agrarian University to support agricultural projects and develop the capacities of farmers. Training sessions and consulting services help the farmers master innovative agricultural technologies and acquire the necessary skill set to boost agriculture in their communities and achieve sustainability.
“We’ve been working with WFP for more than a year and since then our partnership has positively impacted our community and people. Together with WFP, we want to improve agricultural growth and create a learning environment for people to be able to increase their income and meet their food needs and other necessities,” said Mr. Robert Ghukasyan, Governor of Syunik.
WFP has been implementing a School Feeding programme in Syunik since 2013 providing hot and nutritious meals to more than 4000 primary school children. The programme has been successfully nationalized in 2016. WFP has also been implementing school agriculture projects throughout Armenia, including in Syunik, where schools are supported with agro-capacity in the form of greenhouses, intensive orchards, and solar stations that play a dual role of having educational importance for the schoolchildren and becoming an income-generating source of self-sustainability for the schools.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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