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Vegetable and Flower Seeds to Needy Families

HDP through cooperation with UMCOR, has been executing vegetable and flower seed distribution for the last two years. The seeds help the rural poor, farmersí associations and demonstration farms.

HDP is working with rural populations to help them sustain themselves, as well as provide them opportunities for income generation and economic growth.
The purpose of this activity is to help rural people in Armenia produce healthy food, sustain themselves and also develop certain farming skills.

UMCOR contributed 1 ton of seeds for 2003. HDP distributed these seeds in different regions of Armenia benefiting about 1,600 rural families, orphanages, ARDA-supported kindergartens in Gumri area, nursing homes and non-government organizations (NGO). In 2004, Volunteers spent two months sorting mixed seeds from 50 kg bags into separate sacks for each kind of seed. Their help was very much needed for timely distribution of seeds.

As a follow up to the last yearís seed distribution, HDP executed distribution of one ton of vegetable and flower seeds to over 2144 families in Armenia, in April-June 2004. This year the work began earlier, February 23, because we had lots of varieties and time was essential to sort the seeds out.

Armenians have lived through difficult times for centuries, the women have always been very actively involved in making that process smoother and less painful. This time too, a group of women were working in Charbakh warehouse: it was very cold there, lacking elementary work conditions. Nevertheless, our women proved that even in those conditions they can work, sort the seeds out, and also acquire new friends, joke with each other and enjoy themselves.
The Red Cross volunteers, schoolchildren, headed by Lusia, also greatly supported this very valuable effort.

 

 


We started the UMCOR-donated seed distribution in HDPís modest office. Red Cross volunteer-friends came again to help us.[Red Cross 004.] We first, verified the list of seed beneficiaries from last year, and then informed them about the availability of vegetable and flower seeds. We didnít have to wait long: representatives from Hrazdan and Ararat visited us with their volunteers and with our assistance made family bags for their communities. [Seeds 2004 004.] The number of communities who wanted seeds grew and we were happy to extend our assistance to Shirak, Noyemberian, Gegharkunik, Armavir, Tavush, Lori, Kotaik, Aragotsotn, and Syunik. Itís also worth mentioning Peace Corps Volunteers who helped us locate beneficiary communities and number of families needing the seeds. Amongst them were Christopher Deel, Brian Raimond, Susan Bradly, Mathew Soniat, Colleen Hardy, May Jirgensons, etc.

After the seeds were distributed, we then collected information to see if the seeds were planted. To our greatest happiness, all varieties were planted and people were particularly pleased with cucumber, cabbage, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, pepper and corn seeds growth. People were happy and many brought Thank You letters to our office. We were also happy that a lot of gardens will be beautified from planted flowers that will warm peopleís hearts. The picture to the right shows some of Perkutyun NGO harvest.

To date, over 2144 families have received seeds. Our goal is to provide healthy food to needy in Armenia. After the seeds were distributed, we then collected information to see if the seeds were planted. To our greatest happiness, all varieties were planted and people were particularly pleased with cucumber, cabbage, beans and corn seeds growth. We are also happy that a lot of gardens will be beautified from planted flowers that will warm peopleís hearts.

One of the goals of HDP is also to promote volunteerism in Armenia. In an economically challenged country it is a bit difficult, but we think that we can achieve a lot step by step.

As a result of this project we decided to start the Mittleider High Yielding program in Armenia, which has the advantage that families can produce their product close to home so security is less of a problem than on more extensive production methods.


 

 

 

 

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