Russian Government, UNDP support rural development in Armenia

A secondary school in Nerkin Tsaghkavan will have a renovated canteen to provide schoolchildren with access to daily hot meals in more sanitary conditions. Households in the village of Koghb have started producing vegetables using a range of new greenhouses as an alternative source of income. At the same time, the community is also launching a 2 km-long energy efficient LED street lighting system. While the Voskepar village in the community of Noyemberyan is laying the foundations for a forest and agricultural produce collection center.

These initiatives are part of the five-year “Integrated Support to Rural Development: Building Resilient Communities” project, financed by the Government of the Russian Federation and implemented by UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. The project budget is over USD 5 million and is aimed at increasing income-generation opportunities and supporting rural infrastructure in borderline communities of Tavush region.

Today, Vache Terteryan, First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Andrey Ivanov, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia, Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia, Hovik Abovyan, Governor of Tavush region, visited the villages of Voskepar, Koghb, and Nerkin Tsaghkavan in Tavush region to see some of the results of implemented projects on-site.

“We in UNDP Armenia believe that lasting development results are achieved through cooperation with local communities. We are happy to see that our beneficiaries play an active role in the project, both through cost sharing and – most importantly – through bringing their vision and ideas to improve community life. This reassures us that our beneficiaries will sustain these achievements, creating a prosperous future across their communities,” said Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia.

For the past two years, residents of 26 borderline communities of Tavush region were engaged in a participatory exercise of assessing the needs of their communities and developing community plans together with the UNDP in Armenia. Based on the results of this planning, UNDP will implement a host of sub-projects addressing areas critical for community growth, such as employment, rural development,  agro-processing, infrastructure revival, education, healthcare, as well as environmental protection and resilience to natural disasters.

The three 135 m² energy-efficient greenhouses in Koghb are only the first of a total of 36 greenhouses that have been constructed by UNDP in the borderline communities of the region. These greenhouses will provide an opportunity for households to earn additional income through advanced agricultural practices. All greenhouses are equipped with drip irrigation systems to ensure water savings, thus also reducing the stress on scarce water resources. Another 20 greenhouses will be constructed by the end of the year to provide households with access to sustainable means of income generation.

The energy-efficient street light system in Koghb community is an exemplary demonstration of how modernized community infrastructure can save community resources and improve the safety and quality of life in the community. The LED luminaries installed in the four central streets of the village provide a better illumination, and result in a safer environment and a reduction in costs in energy of up to 70 percent.

The construction of the collection center in Voskepar village of Noyemberyan community will provide new opportunities for agricultural production and foraging by extending the seasonality of sales and minimizing the waste from agricultural produce. Six full-time and up to 40 seasonal jobs will be created thanks to the center, and it is expected that about 12 tonnes of produce will be processed through it annually.

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