Supporting the Armenian Agricultural Census
2012 – 2017: COMPLETED
ICARE supported USDA NASS in providing technical assistance and training to National Statistical Services and Ministry of Agriculture of the RA throughout the period of data processing and data dissemination of the first Armenian Agricultural Census.
Agricultural Statistics Development Project for Georgia
2015 – 2017: COMPLETED
In collaboration with its Georgian partner GCAD, ICARE implemented the United States Department of Agriculture project aimed at improving agricultural data in Georgia by enhancing the capacity of GeoStat (Statistical Services in Georgia) to collect, analyze and disseminate agricultural statistics, as well as by developing agricultural information system to produce data for informed decision making.
Capacity Development Needs Assessment of Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI) Stakeholders
May 2016 – March 2017: COMPLETED
This projects, funded by EU Delegation in Armenia and Austrian Development Agency, is aimed at:
- Facilitating a comprehensive capacity needs assessment revealing the existing capacity development needs, challenges and gaps in terms of organic agriculture
- Developing a capacity development strategy/plan based on the assessment results, indicating both short and long-term requirements of all stakeholders.
Coordinator: International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM), Germany
Partners: ICARE Foundation
Feasibility Study “Agricultural Insurance in Armenia and Georgia”
November 2014 – February 2015: COMPLETED
The KfW Entwicklungsbank (“KfW”), project is aimed at providing agro-insurance scheme(s) that shall contribute to reducing the vulnerability of farmers, SME-s, and intermediaries engaged in agricultural activities in connection with economic damages as a consequence of bad weather events.
The feasibility study shall analyze the risk profile at a national level in both countries, examine the existing initiatives / products for agro-insurance, the given regulatory framework and the demand. Based on these outcomes the study shall recommend further steps to setup new or support existing appropriate agro-insurance schemes embedded into the specific risk profile of the region and involving international best practices. In doing so, the study shall also assess and take into account options for reinsurance mechanisms and outline needs for consultancy of various parties.
The investigations carried out within this study shall focus on the potential of agro-insurance schemes linked to credit programs, as such programs might be key channels to introduce insurance schemes, create demand, and build scalable insurance systems right from the beginning. The focus of a potential design of an agro-insurance scheme shall lay on clear and simple agro-products based on the most eminent demand of the consumers.
Coordinator: Business & Finance Consulting GmbH, Switzerland
Partners: Central Bank of Armenia, ICARE Foundation.
Exploring the Potential for Agricultural and Biomass Trade in the Commonwealth of Independent States
January 2014 – November 2016: COMPLETED
The ongoing negotiations on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) between the EU, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the accession of Russia to the World Trade Organization in 2012 and the establishment of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2011 are expected to boost trade relations between the European Union and its Eastern Neighbours. The AGRICISTRADE project is a joint cross-border initiative aimed to accompany these developments by analyzing the potential impact of these trade agreements and by delivering insights on the potential developments of the food, feed and biomass sectors in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. AGRICISTRADE contributes to the analysis of the present situation, the potentials and the projection of future agri-food developments. This project improves the understanding of present agricultural and food processing sectors in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by collecting and evaluating statistical data and related policies. Based on its multidisciplinary expertise the AGRICISTRADE consortium investigates agro-ecological, socio-economic and institutional bottlenecks to exploit the agricultural potentials in CIS and shows the implications of policy interventions for development perspectives of a number of selected supply chains. AGRICISTRADE improves existing biophysical and economic modeling tools enhancing their empirical base and regional representation and develops a framework for assessing agricultural production and demand potentials in CIS. Modeling tools can be used to quantify and analyze the impact of market developments, technology and policy scenarios on CIS agricultural production, demand and trade, specifically addressing the implications of these scenarios for EU agri-food sector. The project results contribute to a fact-based and well-informed dialogue among EU policy makers on possible impacts of a DCFTA or EEU on CIS agricultural development potentials.
Coordinator: EUROQUALITY SARL, France
Partners: DLO (Netherlands), IAMO (Germany), Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (Slovenia), LAEI (Lithuania), Johann Heinrich von Thuenen – Institute (Germany), IIASA (Austria), ICARE (Armenia), IEOA (Azerbaijan), IPM (Belarus), GCAD (Georgia), ACEPAS (Kazakhstan), IEFS (Moldova), IKAR (Russia), IER (Ukraine), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
INT.RE.COOP – International Research Exchange on Cooperatives
September 2012 – September 2015: COMPLETED
INT.RE.COOP enlarges the Research Network established by RECOSET. Partners’ diverse research expertises (in economics, development studies, applied economics, sociology, law, management and business administration) and geographic specialization (EU/AC, CIS; North America; Latin America), ensures multidisciplinary and international approach adoption and implementation of comparative analyses across sectors and countries, given the goal of developing policy recommendations on how to support the growth of cooperatives where they show competitive advantages.
Partners: University of Liege, Centre for Social Economy – ULG, Belgium; University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute for Sociological Research – UBF-ISR, Serbia; University of Almería – UAL, Spain; The International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education – ICARE, Armenia; The Centre for Human Resources Development – ORACUL, Belarus; Association of NGOs “Socio-Economic Strategies and Partnerships” – SESP, Ukraine; National University of la Plata, Faculty of Economics, Institute for Studies on Cooperatives – UNLP/IECOOP, Argentina; University of São Paulo, Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting of Ribeirão Preto – USP-FEA-RP, Brazil; University of Santiago de Chile, Faculty of Economics and Administration, International Center on Social Economy and Cooperatives – USACH/IESCOOP, Chile; University of Querétaro, School of Administration and Accounting – UAQ, Mexico; University of Missouri – MST, USA; University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the study of Cooperatives – CSUSASK, Canada; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Centre for Cooperatives – UWMADISON/UWCC, USA.
The Global Food Crisis – Impact on Wheat Markets and Trade in the Caucasus and Central Asia and the Role of Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine
February 2012 – September 2015: COMPLETED
The research project investigates wheat markets in the Caucasus and Central Asia and the major supplier countries of this region, namely Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine (KRU) against the background of the on-going global food crisis. Long-term rising prices and increasing price volatility on the world markets for agricultural raw materials have considerably affected the countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus. However, up until today research has more or less neglected the impact of the global food crisis on this region. There is nearly no empirical evidence on how wheat markets in this region work and how prices are formed. The present research project aims to close this research gap. Three different but closely connected working groups carry out empirical analyses on price transmission and price volatility, structure of the wheat supply chains, and wheat trade patterns and relationships. Besides providing empirical results on important research questions, this project also contributes to capacity-building in the countries under consideration. The PhD students coming predominantly from the countries under study do not only benefit from working in an international research team consisting of IAMO researchers and well-known scientists in the relevant field of research, but also from taking part in graduate courses and PhD workshops.
Partners: World Bank (USA), ICARE (Armenia), GCAD (Georgia), ACEPAS (Kazakhstan), the Higher School of Economics (Russia), VIAPI (Russia), SAI (Uzbekistan), and CACAARI (Uzbekistan).
Mobilization of Savings, Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection in Armenia
June 2012 – August 2014: COMPLETED
The overall project goal is to strengthen the mobilization of savings in Armenia by offering a broad range of different savings products, in particular for population segments with small to medium income. On the supply side it is, therefore, necessary to empower more financial institutions to offer adequate products for small-scale savers and collect small amounts of savings in a cost-efficient manner. On the demand side, it is required to enhance the savers’/consumers’ ability to save and acknowledge adequate savings products by offering financial literacy measures and ensuring transparency.
Macro level: Consulting of Central Bank / Supervisory Authority in the following areas:
- Creation of more transparency on the financial markets (implementation of regulations for consumer protection).
- Support of Central Bank in developing and implementing a national strategy to raise the level of financial literacy.
Meso level: Capacity building in the following areas:
- Strengthening of ICARE to support financial institutions in mobilizing savings (especially in rural regions).
- Consulting and strengthening of ICARE in offering financial literacy measures.
Coordinator: Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (SBFIC), Germany
Partners: Central Bank of Armenia, ICARE Foundation
Socio-economic Tools for Integrated Conservation Planning in the Multi-Ethnic South Caucasus
February 2012 – November 2013: COMPLETED
The project is committed to foster the implementation of the BMBF- (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Strategy on International Co-operation in Science and Research by forming a research partnership with the South Caucasus countries Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which also facilitates the scientific exchange among these Caucasian countries. The planned research partnership is based on jointly planned and conducted research, accompanied by training and capacity building catering to the specific needs of socio-economically integrative conservation planning. The research team jointly designs and implements studies which (i) use up-to-date socio-economic methods (ii) facilitate an improved integrative conservation planning, and provide these methods in form of a “tool box” for further application to the Caucasian project partners and other participating Caucasian scientists and professionals.
Through the partners from Göttingen, the project ensures participation of internationally renowned scientists and takes care of a suitable intensity and quality of capacity building and scientific exchange component. The Göttingen capacity building component is planned to be implemented in collaboration with the Göttingen Centre for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Forestry (CeTSAF), which has several years of experience in international scientific capacity building – including the organization of Summer Schools. Using this in combination with methodically demanding research in regional pilot studies, the project provides a new, promising approach to scientific co-operation.
Coordinator: Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
Partners: ICFER, SDASU, ICARE, Tehran University, GABA.
RECOSET – Research Network on Cooperative and Social Enterprises in Transition Contexts
August 2010 – August 2012: COMPLETED
RECOSET aimed at stimulating the creation of a network of research centers that are committed to studying cooperative and social enterprises in European (EU)/Associated (AC) and Third Countries (TC). RECOSET was financed by the European Commission in the context of the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) of the Seventh Framework Programme. RECOSET supported the exchange of staff members and researchers (both early-stage and experienced) devoted to study the rationale and potential of these institutions. As for TCs, the main goal is to give researchers the opportunity to benefit from the theoretical and empirical knowledge that has been so far accumulated by the EU/AC research centers involved.
Partners: EMES, Belgium; University of Trento; Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade – Institute for Sociological Research (Serbia); ICARE (Armenia); ORACUL (Belarus); SESPS (Ukraine).
Sustainable Fisheries for Enhanced Water Resources in Armenia (within the scope of USAID PEER projects)
2015 – 2018: ONGOING
The Sustainable Fisheries for Enhanced Water Resources in Armenia (SFEWRA) project addresses the issues of depleting groundwater resources in Ararat Valley. Although being profitable in current market circumstances, the fish farms mostly operate non-efficient water utilization technologies.
The main goal of the project is preservation and efficient use of water resources in the Ararat Valley. The project includes:
- Analysis of targeted fish farms in Ararat Valley to address the issues related to improving water quality and increasing efficiency of water use
- Revealing alternative options for discharge water reuse
Analysis of current regulatory framework and recommendations for improved policy for water usage in fish farm production systems and for better management of discharge water.
Assessment of and Recommendations for Staff Appraisal Systems and Training Needs Analysis for the Ministry of Agriculture of the RA
Agriculture production has been and continues to be one of the leading sectors of Armenian economy that together with agriculture processing makes up about 25% of GDP of the country. The importance of the sector was assessed by the Eastern Neighborhood Partnership for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD) that jointly with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiated the project to strengthen the technical potential of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Within the scope of the technical assistance provided to MoA, it is planned to strengthen the institutional and capacity development of Government stakeholders, which includes assessment of the current human resource appraisal system in the Ministry and making recommendations for introduction of new staff appraisal systems and training programmes.
The main objective of the assignment is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and adjacent agencies personnel to run more effective working practices that will result in successful implementation of Sustainable Agricultural Development Strategy. This assumes suggestions on human resources training and development systems within the MoA and its relevant agencies, that are effective and in line with European best practices.
Agriculture Investment Guide
With the support of Swiss Cooperation Office in South Caucasus Agribusiness Research Center introduced Agriculture Investment Guide that describes the investment climate in Armenia and highlights investment opportunities in variouse fields of agricultural production and processing. The aim of this project is to promote investments in the agriculture sector through increasing awareness on prospective spheres and via providing brief information on required investments and expected payback period for different agricultural commodities.
Baseline Study of the Armenian Wine Sector
Responding to the need for wine sector development in Armenia, the German Society for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ) initiated this baseline study with the aim of exploring the current state of the wine sector, identifying macroeconomic, statistical and sector-based baseline indicators for development monitoring, highlighting the relationships and communication between industry, suppliers, and institutional partners or stakeholders. The baseline study is intended to deliver grounds for comparisons and judgment about the development results achieved by the intervention of this GIZ Private Sector Development program in South Caucasus. This baseline study provides insights to the wine sector with the help of quantitative and qualitative data, that supports GIZ-PSD program implementation in Armenia. The purpose of the study is to present the baseline situation of the wine sector in Armenia, including the current state of wine producing companies, the ease of operating in the market, relations across the value chain, further development expectations, as well as possible collaboration with other institutions, and career prospectives of graduates.
Food Losses and Wastes in the Armenian Agri-food Chains
Food losses refer to the decrease in edible food mass throughout the part of the supply chain that specifically leads to edible food for human consumption. The aim of this research is to find and analyze data on food waste and loss as it goes through different stages of the food supply chain, starting from harvesting and ending with consumption. The commodity groups covered are: “Cereals”, “Roots & Tubers”, “Fruit & Vegetables”, “Meat”, “Fish & Seafood” and “Milk”. Four agro-food value chains have been selected to analyze the critical loss points based on the economic importance for the country in terms of employment generation, contribution to food security, impact on smallholders or share in agricultural production of the region. The selected value chains are: wheat, potato, tomatoes and milk. The study focuses on assessment of food waste and loss during harvesting, post-harvest handling and storage, processing, distribution, and consumption of the selected products. The research is aimed at providing recommendations for the loss minimization across the supply chain.