Serve as an international center of excellence to create food and agribusiness leaders through state-of-the-art education programs and cutting-edge research.
Develop a sustainable knowledge capacity for the food and agribusiness sector in Armenia.
The International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE) Foundation is an independent non-governmental and non-profit organization established in Yerevan, Armenia in 2005 by Texas A&M University. ICARE is located at its own campus named after Zabel Yessayan (ZYAC) at 1, 12th Alley, 5th Street, Proshyan, 2413 Kotayk Marz. ICARE is an umbrella institution for agribusiness research and rural development projects, as well as for a number of academic programs such as Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) and EVN Wine Academy. ICARE Foundation is governed by its Board of Trustees.
In 2020 ICARE established its own campus named Zabel Yessayan Agribusiness Center (ZYAC). ZYAC is a learning-by-doing agricultural technology and agribusiness incubation center of ICARE, which promotes entrepreneurship, environmentally conscious agriculture, a healthy lifestyle, and nature appreciation. ZYAC provides agribusiness incubation opportunities for ICARE students and young professionals who are passionate about establishing their agribusiness
companies or conducting important research projects.
ZYAC is now evolving into the first-in-Armenia full agribusiness lifelong-learning academic campus, where students will have classrooms, shared workspace,
housing, a sports center, as well as agribusiness units where they can work and practice – all at one location, integrated with the local community. The business
units already established include a student winery, an apiculture center, and a smart box of oyster mushroom production. It is planned to establish a wine laboratory, a vineyard, and a number of other facilities. ZYAC campus is already a proactive member of the Proshyan community where it is located.
Currently, ICARE with its ZYAC campus is located on a plot of around 6 hectares (15 acres). We envision expanding to 30 hectares (75 acres), which will include the campus buildings, as well as infrastructure for research, experimentation, and start-up incubation. This big vision is a $30-million project. The campus, however, is not a stand-alone unit. We aim to have a campus intermixed with the local residential communities and engage the local residents in the campus operations and support our aim to develop an inclusive operational model. The opening ceremony of the center took place on October 9, 2022. On that
day the campus was officially named Zabel Yessayan Agribusiness Center (ZYAC) in honor of the renowned Armenian writer Zabel Yessayan. Judith
Saryan and Victor Zarougian, visionary leaders of our ZYAC campus, longtime benefactors of ICARE, were strong supporters of transforming the arid land plot
into a dynamically growing campus. For the ICARE team, Zabel Yessayan is a role model due to her rebellious spirit and aspiration for change, development,
and innovation. A statue of Zabel Yessayan was erected on campus, commissioned from Nune Tumanyan through the Armenian Artists Project (AAP).
Narine Kochar, the Head of Operations of the Armenian Artists Project, provided instrumental coordination and visionary support in the creation of the statue.
The academic program of Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) combines theoretical knowledge in the classroom with practical skills in the professional world, such as ICARE research projects, to prepare students focused on agribusiness economics, finance, management, and marketing. These are the specific skills needed for the South Caucasus agribusiness sector, for the competitive markets in which graduates operate, and the global trade policies which govern competition between agribusiness companies. ATC prepares students to assist farmers, businesses, and public agencies to successfully meet modern challenges. Excellent connections with the industry provide ATC students with countless opportunities to learn, work, and exercise their skills. The ICARE reach extends far beyond the South Caucasus. ATC also boasts many alumni as faculty at world-renowned universities such as Texas A&M University, Kansas State University, the University of Sydney, Cornell University, Florida State University, and other universities.
ICARE has produced a number of research studies for its partners: the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. These economic- and marketing-based research projects have been used to assess the region’s agribusiness climate as well as identify new opportunities for investment and development.