Tavush is one of the poorest areas of Armenia, where the productivity of the agricultural sector can be substantially improved with the introduction of modern equipment and quality seeds. At present, only 45% of the arable land is exploited, mainly due to the lack of water and insufficient technical equipment.
The 500,000 euro (US$675,000) grant by the French Department for the year 2009 will be a major contribution for the financing of a two-year program for revamping the irrigation network, setting up a milk gathering station as well as an agricultural base with tractors and combined harvesters. A particular effort will be made towards technical training and the improvement of production quality.
The signing of the Convention was preceded by the unanimous vote in favor of this grant by the Department’s Assembly, a sign of the confidence inspired by the French affiliate of the Armenia Fund as a partner for local and regional authorities in carrying out development projects.
The criteria followed by the Department in choosing partners for international cooperation include the latters’ skills, past experience, transparency as well as the integral value of the project itself. Armenia is one of the four countries included in the Hauts-de-Seine poverty eradication program. Others include Cambodia, Mali and Haiti.