Agriculture in Armenia has been and still is one of the most important sectors for rural employment and in terms of contribution to the country’s GDP. Nevertheless, Armenian agriculture is mainly characterized by a low level of productivity, the dominance of subsistence farming, a lack of knowledge on sustainable, environmentally friendly, and climate-smart agriculture practices. In the context of global food insecurity and climate-related challenges, the improvement of animal husbandry and pasture management spheres in Armenia plays a crucial role. Sometimes the pasture users, farmers, engaged in animal husbandry and cattle breeding, do not have modern knowledge and skills in managing their farms effectively, which keeps the country far from the desired level of sophistication.

Since Armenia has good preconditions for the development of Agriculture, due to its unique geographic and natural conditions, the Government of Armenia (GoA) has prioritized its promotion through incorporation in appropriate governmental policies and regulatory legislative framework.

From these perspectives, the GoA has initiated a very demanded project – The Second Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness Project (CARMAC II), financed by World Bank Group and implemented by the Ministry of Economy of Armenia, aiming at:

  • further improvement of productivity and sustainability of pasture and livestock systems in 8 marzes of Armenia, with overall 109 communities engaged; and
  • increasing the marketed production of selected livestock and high-value agrifood value chains.

As a hub for the development of agricultural players, ICARE Foundation joined the capacity-building component of CARMAC II project and during the 8-month period successfully implemented capacity-building training sessions in the selected marzes.

The capacity-building project component aims to increase the capacity of “Pasture users union” consumption cooperative members from the selected mountain communities where livestock is the main means of livelihood, which are interested in improving the productivity of their pastures. Overall, 2-layer training packages were delivered, the first for the managers and decision-makers of the paster user cooperative members: the first package for decision makers and administrative staff, and the second for the cooperative members.