Business Development and Poverty Reduction
Human Dignity and Peace Foundation (HDP Foundation) implemented a four-month project (July 10 – November 30, 2006) funded by the Center for Agribusiness & Rural Development (CARD). Activities were carried out in four communities of Armavir and Ararat marz: Guy, Nizami, Sayat Nova and Sis. The core activity was to introduce and teach the Mittleider High Yield Gardening method through demonstrations, technical assistance and model gardens.
The Mittleider method enables the most efficient use of land, water and nutrients. The proper use of this technique significantly increases the yields and income. Therefore, if loans are needed by people to invest in their gardens, the risks to micro-credit organizations are lower.
The harvest results proved the success of this method. Consistent application of this method promoted and developed the businesses of professional gardeners, and provided opportunities for rural poor to generate income through increased yields and to meet their family consumption needs. The beneficiaries of this project yielded 4-5 times more than traditional yields in addition to obtaining long-lasting, new knowledge and skills in gardening techniques.
Throughout the project, HDP trained the beneficiaries and other interested gardeners the secrets and key elements of this new method. HDP also trained local agronomists during the project, provided necessary materials, thus raising local capacity for them to be trainers for other gardeners.
HDP Foundation cooperated with the Federation of Agricultural Associations (FAA) during this project. FAA is supporting professional gardeners with technical assistance and providing inputs: fertilizer, seeds, insecticides, etc. It recently established a micro-finance entity to assist in developing businesses in rural communities. Commercial gardening has good potential in the Armenian agricultural sector for small and medium enterprises. Vegetables that receive proper nutrition from micro- and macro-fertilizer elements ensure healthy food for people