Eco Farm

Back in 2019, in the outskirts of Yerevan the practical learning center of ICARE,  Eco Farm was established. ICARE as a leading research and educational institution in the Armenian Agricultural sector was guided by the “Learn by Doing” approach and determined to disseminate this innovative educational approach among its students, agricultural entrepreneurs, farmers, and other beneficiaries through establishing an incubation center, promoting environmentally conscious agriculture, healthy lifestyle, and nature appreciation.

The necessity of establishing the Eco Farm arose after ICARE’s own observation and studies on the current socio-economic conditions of Armenia. Particularly, over the past few decades, we have witnessed a massive migration of youngsters to other countries for better jobs and prosperous life. This is such a threat to Armenia, as the main brainpower leaves the country and the country’s development perspectives are exposed to risk.

Armenian youth are innovative, creative with an entrepreneurial mindset, thus new mechanisms and incentives for the youngsters should be proposed by both the public and private sectors so that they stay and flourish their motherland. ICARE envisions the future development perspectives through the prism of agricultural development. Why? The reason is that our country possesses considerable potential in this field and around 13% of the Armenian GDP is contributed by Agriculture. This may sound like a big number, compared to below 5% of agriculture contribution to GDP in many developed countries. Currently, resources in Agriculture are not utilized efficiently which is due to both lack of advanced technology and the capacity of the people, who are the backbone of this sector, as Agriculture still remains labor-intensive. Therefore, giving freedom to youngsters and entrepreneurs can boost their creativity, inspire them to have a positive impact on their communities.

Let’s nurture minds of the Armenian youth in understanding and appreciating nature, and incubating agribusiness startups.

In the meantime, over the past few years, we see an increasing trend among youth to initiate new business concepts with the merge of agriculture and technology. Each year we can see a growing number of people who apply for funding opportunities in agricultural technologies, which is a stimulus for us to undertake our support mechanisms. Eco Farm is among those!
Agriculture, environment, technology, business. And here it comes – EcoFarm! Having in mind these four pillars, EcoFarm will provide agribusiness incubation opportunities for ICARE students and all other students and young professionals who are passionate about establishing their agribusiness start-ups. The agribusiness start-ups incubated at EcoFarm will incorporate components of high-tech farming, organic farming, or biodynamic farming.

Eco Farm as a significant educational infrastructure has a large potential to become a real model for social entrepreneurship. Currently, the construction of  AgriHUB is underway in Eco Farm, which will serve as a center for practical training and inclusive learning for youth coming from all around Armenia who are eager to learn and experiment with up-to-date agricultural technologies, as well as create cross-sector synergies among agribusiness, high tech, tourism, education, wellness, and healthcare, etc.

Last but not the least, EcoFarm will provide an opportunity for active farming for those people who work in urban spots, but they would love to be closer to nature and engaged in ongoing agricultural activities: planting, pruning, harvesting, etc. This can be also an ideal place for families, who can bring their kids for leisure decreasing their screen-time and stimulate interest in them as future agribusiness managers, agripreneurs, and farmers.