YEREVAN, June 22. /ARKA/. Seventeen greenhouses valued at total $50,000 were set in motion in Aknaghbyur community of Armenian Tavush province in the framework of the Agreement of cooperation between Oxfam Armenia and UNDP Armenia.
Seventeen greenhouses were built under UNDP initiative, and Oxfam Armenia, on its side, provided loans and equipped the greenhouses with drip irrigation system as well as seedlings.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Armenia Dafina Gercheva said the cooperation with Oxfam is targeted at measures for poverty elimination in rural communities of the country.
She noted that UNDP and Oxfam have the same purpose as they cooperate, that of poverty elimination, development of the most marginalized communities and ensuring sustainable development in Tavush province. Mrs. Gercheva also expressed hope that this cooperation is another successful initiative which will expand over the other communities in the future, which will soften non-proportional development and will foster welfare growth in the rural communities.
On her side, Oxfam Armenia Director Margarita Hakobyan informed that the greenhouses are ascribed to 17 families which are members of
Aknaghbyur’s agricultural cooperative, founded by the organization.
Each family, according to her, contributed 10% of construction cost of its greenhouse.
“In order to stop unbalanced territorial development and decrease the level of poverty as well as polarize the population in the rural communities it is necessary to consolidate all interested sides. The necessary things here are also high responsibility, effective use of resources, and complementary efforts directed to tangible involvement. And the bright example for this is long-lasting operation of Oxfam in Armenia and long-term cooperation with UNDP. Together we can make much more and better things to find solutions for poverty elimination in the country,” Hakobyan said.
She noted that construction of the greenhouses is one of the most important points of the five-year program implemented by Oxfam and UNDP in Tavush province since 2010.
“The main purpose of the program is to found cooperatives that will enable the farmers to develop small business and increase their earnings. Within two years each farmer who was a member of the cooperative could raise his income by 20-30%,” Hakobyan added.
Oxfam Armenia Director underscored that the greenhouses will diversify the incomes of the peasants as profits of many farmers actually depend on weather conditions which are not always favorable.
“Greenhouses guarantee income for the farmers all year around. They grow potatoes and cucumbers which are easy to sell at the market. Daily income of a family who is involved into this activity is nearly 5,000 drams (around $11.9),” she said.
Hakobyan also highlighted that Oxfam is intended to step up the range of its programs.
“Ten cooperatives and five household refrigerators (valued at $30,000, ed.) are operating in Tavush and Vayots Dzor provinces of Armenia as a result of our cooperation. We are planning to continue our cooperation with UNDP and build greenhouses in other provinces of Armenia,” she added.
Poverty level fetching 35%, that includes 61% of the population is reported in Tavush region. The highest poverty level is recorded in rural communities with limited soil resources and possibilities to cultivate them.
Oxfam is an independent international charity organization, that was established in Great Britain (Oxford) in 1942. The organization operates in over 70 countries of the world. In Armenia the program was approved in March of 1993; it supports Armenian government in implementing priorities of the national development. --0--