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May 2008 "Civic Participation to Alleviate Rural Poverty"

Meeting of partisipants From November 1, 2005 to December, 2005 HDP conducted an evaluation of the Rural Development Program in Karakert and completed a Participatory Rural Appraisal in Armavir marz of Armenia. These evaluations served as basis for HDP to start is project aimed at alleviation of rural poverty through community mobilization and application of new technology in January, 2006. The project was funded by Children of Armenian Fund, benefiting 200 farmers (or 800 people) in 5 villages of Bagramyan region (Karakert, Lernagog, Miasnikyan, Shenik, Dalarik). The goal of this project was to reduce poverty in rural areas through improved democratic governance; enable community members to use self-interest as a driving force behind civic participation and introduction of new technology in gardening.

HDP greenhouse with small plants Poverty is wide spread in rural Armenia and finding sustainable ways for economic growth is a challenge: HDP tested this high yielding gardening technique previously and if applied correctly the target families will have 3 to 9 times more yield compared to traditional gardening in Armenia which will generate decent income and economic stability.

All beneficiaries received both in-house training and field demonstrations; they received high quality seeds; ongoing technical assistance and advice; and copies of HDP’s “Secrets of Gardening” book as additional training material and practical guide.

Partisipant with tomatoes The project beneficiaries, as a result of the project interventions and following the new methods, yielded in average 3 times the traditional gardening yields. Application of new technology normally takes few years to take off and show tangible results. However, HDP estimates that an average of 3 times increased yield for given communities is an excellent result for the first year. This method normally yields more in the following years. All participants received new knowledge and skills that will be carried away well beyond the project for their use and as local resources for the communities. In each community HDP worked intensely with local agronomists who were trained not only the technical stuff, but also were responsible for coordinating all activities, distributing agricultural inputs, monitoring the field operations, etc. This trained cadre will also serve as local resources that will benefit their communities.

David Lee Watt

Some of us have been given the special ability to love and care about the people of God /Ephesians 4:11/




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