Results of studies by ICARE and CARD reported at FAO workshop

The results of the comprehensive study of the dairy value chain conducted by researchers from CARD and ICARE under the auspices of FAO were reported and discussed at a stakeholder workshop on March 12, 2019. In particular the main factors influencing the milk yield of dairy cows, the situation in the dairy processing industry, consumer preferences and the international market potential of Armenian dairy products as well as an investment roadmap needed for improving the dairy value chain was addressed.

The study revealed the lack of sufficient quality feed which could improve the milk production and contribute to overall socioeconomic development in Armenia. Other critical issues, according to the results of the study, are feeding, management, and productivity practices which require external technical assistance.

The study was launched in April 2018 as a part of the FAO project aimed at making substantial improvements to the dairy operations in Armenia by enhancing the productivity of the dairy sector via improved feed resources and better-targeted investments. The ICARE research team implemented the dairy processor and consumer study, coming up with interesting and important results on this part of the value chain. The study was conducted in four major cities of Armenia and involved a total of 400 households. An analysis of consumer preferences was made based on the data from 20 dairy processing companies. In addition, our research team has estimated the milk yield economic modeling, which revealed the significant factors influencing milk productivity. The ICARE research team’s efforts led to developing a dairy value chain investment roadmap to be used by FAO and the Armenian Government for further strategy in the sector.

Over 60 participants were representing the entire palette of stakeholders: Ministry of Agriculture, National Statistics Committee, Food Safety Inspectorate, Armenian National Agrarian University (represented by Rector Urutyan), service providers and suppliers, small, average and large farms, processors, community leaders, cooperatives as well as international donors: EU, World Bank, and Austrian Development Agency.