Establishment of a demonstration and training center for organic agriculture in Akunq community of Kotayk region
Establishment of a demonstration and training center for organic agriculture in Akunq community of Kotayk region
Organic agriculture is part of Armenia’s sustainable development concept and is a priority area in the government’s agro-food policy. Organic farming is considered an excellent business opportunity for farmers and investors involved in agriculture and food production.
In 2010 Shen NGO, in partnership with EED-Germany and Shen-France, developed a 4-year project “Demo educational center for organic agriculture” aimed at promoting development of the organic agriculture in Armenia by increasing the actual number of certified farms and product varieties. The demonstration and educational center will operate as an experimental organic farm, where new approaches and technologies for environmentally sound cultivation based on efficient use of natural resources will be introduced. It will serve as a well equipped and staffed advisory center where various consultations, seminars and practical trainings will be organized.
Thereafter in 2011 Shen NGO rented a 7 ha land plot to establish an experimental-demonstrative educational center in Akunq community of Kotayk region. This abandoned plot of land was entirely covered by garbage, construction waste and stones. In fact, it was used as an unauthorized dump site for Akunq and its neighboring communities. As a result of intensive degradation of the soil layer, the land had fully lost its agricultural potential and had a very low economic value. With the EED Germany, Shen France and Shen NGO funding, the territory of the center was fenced and initial melioration activities were implemented, such as removal of big stones, solid and construction waste. Besides, a digital map of the territory and a full-scale melioration plan was developed and a unit of farming machine with its three sleeves was purchased. Notable, that the project was welcomed by the Akunq community residents.
In April 2012, Shen NGO, with the support of EED-Germany and Shen-France, received additional funding through SGP grant project to support implementation of the second phase of the initiative. At this phase, the project envisages implementing the following activities in the territory of the demonstration and training center:
• Implementation of the soil melioration activities ;
• Installation of the efficient irrigation systems for soil and water conservation;
• Arrangement of seeds production for conservation of domestic varieties of crops;
• Set up and demonstration of different innovative, environmentally friendly agricultural technologies and equipment for knowledge transfer and dissemination; and
• Organic certification of the demo farm.
The overall objective of the project is to promote good agricultural practices based on soil and water conservation through introduction of innovative management approaches, technologies and organic farming practices in the demonstration and training center.
To ensure institutional sustainability and community ownership of the center, a Social Development Fund (SDF) will be registered on the basis of the educational center which will coordinate and unify activities of the organic producers, farmers and other counterparts throughout Armenia. Founders of the SDF will be 23 certified organic farmers from different regions of Armenia, Shen and other NGOs/CBOs specialized in organic agriculture and selected beneficiary farmers from Akunq community.
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Project Snapshot

"Shen" Charitable Public Organization
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 39,840.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 93,261.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 17,640.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Policy Impact
A Social Development Fund will be founded and registered by Shen NGO by the end of the project in mid 2013. The Fund will coordinate the educational and advisory activities of the center and unite the organic producers, farmers and other stakeholders in Armenia. The center will serve as a platform for practical learning and knowledge, as well as for cooperation of organic farmers across the country which will result in increase of the actual number of certified farms and product varieties. In terms of environmental benefits, this project will greatly contribute to mitigation of land degradation which is mainly caused by wrong or unsustainable agricultural/farming practices.
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
All the financial resources generated from the center will be managed by the Social Development Fund and partially directed towards the solution of community problems. Organic farming products will be put on the market at a higher market price, since availability of organic certification is a token of sustainable mark-up income for the center and its beneficiary farmers. Once the orchard reaches certain volume of yielding, the center can cooperate with large fruit processor companies. Additionally, the center can raise funds in-country through advisory services provided to the private sector or grant programmes.
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Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 1
Hectares of degraded land rest 7
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 251
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 100



Grantee Contact

Ms. Nvard Shahmuradyan
Phone: (+374 10) 567031


110 Nalbandyan St.
Yerevan , 0001

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
+374 60 530000+116
(+374 10) 543811
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
+374 60 530000+117


14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

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