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Gardening 2009 Year 1

HDP is currently implementing a 3-year High Yielding Gardening activity (2009-2011) in partnership with and through support from the Armenian branch of the World Vision. As agreed, 50 beneficiaries from six communities in Lori Region were engaged in the Year 1. During the following two years the number of beneficiaries increased to 90. Target communities include Northern rural areas of Armenia.

Meeting of local leaders The project goal is to reduce poverty in rural Armenia and generate income through skills learning and training in High Yielding Gardening. This project will teach the Armenian farmers how to best use the limited resources they possess – small land plots and gardens. The new technology provides increased yields for up to 3-4 times the traditional garndeing and thus, provides much needed real income. This method also is about efficient use of water, sun light and agricultural inputs. Another important goal and objective of the project is knowledge transfer and capacity building of local farmers. The new skills and knowledge will be transferred to fellow gardeners within and beyond target communities.

Field with 'T' frames Since 2009 regular trainings and field demonstration days were organized for beneficiaries regarding all technical aspects of the new method. HDP distributed copies of its “ Secrets of Gardening” book as a contribution. This Armenian language textbook serves as excellent guide on each and every step of gardening operations: cultivation of crops; pest and disease control, watering schedule, etc.

Tomato plants ready to transplant Along with in-door trainings, HDP conducted many field days, whereby HDP Agronomist demonstrates all field operations to project beneficiaries, namely: seed sowing, plant care, pruning, weed and pest control, soil bed preparation, watering, vertical growing, etc. In addition, HDP technical staff provides ongoing technical assistance to p;roject beneficiaries.

Farmers are instructed to carefully record their inputs and outputs, harvest results that will be used when we collect data for impact and reporting. Since all gardens are open, one of the factors affecting the success is weather. Regretfully, the results for 2009 were not as good as expected in Stepanavan region, due to heavy hail and rains in April and August. They damaged the plants: however, HDP working group provided additional seedlings and seeds to the farmers, in order to alleviate the losses.

Preparing weekly fertilizer It should be noted that the new method raised lots of interest within target communities: some non-participant farmers started to apply the new method on their own, getting advice and counseling from their fellow gardeners and project participants.

At the end of the project Year 1 the results were summurized: 50 beneficiaries yielded approximately 5.873 kg of product; acquired new knowledge and skills; and transferred them to their neighbours.



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