“Development of Organic Farming as a Contribution to the Protection of Biodiversity and Poverty Alleviation in Northern Armenia” is a three-year program. The project is introduced by the German Nature Protection Union (NABU), and is implemented by the non-governmental organizations “Bezoar” and “Eco-Globe”, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ). The purpose of the program is to carry out work on the development of organic agriculture, the creation of cooperatives and the movement of the market of the received products in 32 mountainous rural settlements of the Tavush, Lori and Gegharkunik regions of northern Armenia, which will contribute to reducing poverty.
The project consists of 4 components:
• Conservation of biodiversity and natural resources
• Creation and support of cooperatives
• Organic certification
• Market Access Support
As part of the first stage - the sustainable use of natural resources, it is planned to conduct a study of the biodiversity of the adjacent areas of 32 mountain rural settlements using GIS and field work methods, highlighting red-book biological resources that are appropriate for human use and have a common prevalence. A strategy for the sustainable use of natural resources will be drawn up for each village. Work will also be carried out to study the human-wild life conflict, and based on the results obtained, work will be developed to mitigate them in existing hot conflict zones.
As part of the first stage, it is also planned to make a film about the biodiversity of northern Armenia.
The second stage will be aimed at the establishment of cooperatives and the development of existing cooperatives. Cooperatives will be provided with initial capital, advice on the development of legal and business programs, and a new competition will be announced for both individual farmers and cooperatives, as a result of which the best agricultural business ideas will receive grants.
At the third stage, certification of products in accordance with organic standards will be carried out, within which individual farmers or cooperatives will receive financial support for certification.
At the fourth stage, the program provides for the advertising of products obtained by the involved farmers and cooperatives on the local and international market.