On February 14, 2020, the Fruit Production Development Project in Armenia (FRUITENIA) was officially launched.
The FRUITENIA project, which is funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and implemented by ICARE Foundation, will modernize the agronomy curricula, through introducing new courses and modernizing the contents of the existing ones at the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) to include concepts of environmentally friendly, sustainable and climate-smart modern fruit production approaches. The project will conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) for ANAU and TVETs instructors to develop the capacity of the teaching staff. A short-term professional certificate program in fruit production will be established at ANAU for fruit-producing farmers, instructors, and students.
The project will establish an environmentally friendly and climate-smart demonstration orchard of intensive fruit production, which will be used for educational purposes. Students, teaching staff, practicing professionals, farmer groups, and other fruit production sector stakeholders will have open access to the orchard and the nursery for visits and hands-on trainingS. The project will develop and launch a fruit production-related e-learning open-access platform in the Armenian language that will be accessible to all fruit production stakeholders including farmers, students, ANAU and TVET faculty, experts, and others. Finally, the project will organize a Youth Camp to raise awareness about the importance and opportunities for fruit production in Armenia among youth.
During the launching event, Deputy Minister of Economy Arman Khojoyan emphasized the importance of the project for the fruit production sector in general and particularly its role in terms of implementation of the state-funded programs.
Rector of ANAU Vardan Urutyan mentioned that this project has a very crucial role for the University since the outcome of the project will be the modern educational practices based on up-to-date curricula, qualified instructors and adequate infrastructure. Dr. Urutyan added that the most important beneficiaries of the project are the ANAU students, as they will have the chance to use the practical knowledge gained in the classroom in orchards during their field trips or internships.
Overall, this is the beginning of an intensive project which has a clear objective to develop the fruit production sector in the first place and promote sustainable and environmentally-friendly agricultural practices in Armenia.
We consider all the people present at the event as one team, as they will undoubtedly have their contribution to the successful achievement of the stated project goals.