Training on Implementation of Green and Organic Agro-technologies in Greenhouse Management

Period of Performance:  25.08.2023-30.10.2023
Funding of the project: European Union with contributions from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)

Empowering Armenia’s Agriculture with Sustainable Practices

Agriculture stands at the forefront of Armenia’s economy, with nearly half of its population engaged in this crucial sector. However, Armenia’s agricultural potential remains largely untapped, resulting in predominantly subsistence-level production. Challenges such as limited access to resources, credits, markets, new technologies, and information hinder agricultural productivity and competitiveness. Recognizing the promise of green agriculture in Armenia due to its unique geographical and natural conditions, the Ministry of Economy (Agricultural division) (MoEc) of the Republic of Armenia has prioritized its promotion through incorporation into governmental policies and regulatory frameworks.
The EU Green Agriculture Initiative in Armenia (EU-GAIA), funded by the European Union with contributions from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), is actively committed to furthering the development of green and organic agriculture in Armenia. As part of the EU-GAIA project’s Support of Agribusinesses Programme (SAP) Call, beneficiary farmers and agribusinesses engaged in green and organic agriculture have received support, including agricultural machinery and equipment. Farmers with demonstration capacities and agribusinesses involved in post-harvest processes have also been selected to develop their capacities, benefiting small agribusinesses in local communities.
To facilitate the transition of these beneficiaries from conventional to green and organic agriculture, EU-GAIA recognizes the importance of building capacities at all levels.To achieve sustainable development results, EU-GAIA is conducting a series of training programs in collaboration with institutions and practitioners in the field of green and organic agriculture, both locally and internationally.

The Goal and Objective of the Training Session
The primary goal of the green and organic agriculture training sessions by EU-GAIA is to provide farmers with access to sustainable knowledge and information in these fields. Specifically, the “Green and Organic Agro-technologies in Greenhouse Management” Training Session aims to enhance farmers’ knowledge in greenhouse management and guide their transition from traditional to green and organic agricultural practices.

Target Groups
The EU-GAIA project is targeting beneficiary agribusinesses involved in green and organic agriculture under CALL 1 and 2 of the SAP program. Additionally, farmers participating in demonstration and post-harvest projects,particularly those engaged in greenhouse crop production or planning to start greenhouse agribusinesses, are included. The trainees mainly focus on the production of vegetables, greens, berries (mainly strawberries),and some are exploring grape and raspberry production in greenhouses.

Training Structure and Format
The training sessions are primarily organized in a classroom format, with online options (Zoom, Teams, etc.) also considered. Participants have opportunities for experience exchange visits with successful greenhouse owners who utilize advanced green and organic agro-technologies. The training program’s total duration does not exceed 21 calendar days, with a maximum of 15 participants. At least 10 beneficiaries from farming households or agribusinesses are involved, allowing up to 2 persons per beneficiary to participate. Professional trainers, selected based on their theoretical background, teaching experience, and practical skills, facilitate the classroom training sessions.

Training Content
The comprehensive training content covers the following key areas:
A. Greenhouse Safety Rules
B. Greenhouse Environment Control Systems
C. Basics of Soil-Based (including Organic) and Hydroponic Greenhouse Management
D. Greenhouse Crop Cultivation Technology
E. Integrated Disease Management in Greenhouses
F. Pest Control (including Biological Control) in Greenhouses
G. Greenhouse Business Management and Marketing

Through this training program, ICARE Foundation, in collaboration with EU-GAIA, is actively equipping Armenia’s farmers and agribusinesses with the knowledge and skills necessary to embrace green and organic agricultural practices, enhance productivity, and thrive in the competitive market for green and organic products.
Together, we are fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for Armenia’s agriculture sector.