For many years farmers of Armenia haven’t had access to high quality vegetable seeds causing non-sufficient harvest in the small plots. In order to address the issue of enhancing the yields in small farms, CARD Foundation cooperates with several European and U.S. seed companies for importing high-efficient seeds to Armenia.“Rijk Zwaan” (the Netherlands) is one of the leading companies in the world specialized in vegetable seeds and assisting farmers in more than 45 countries.
The aim of CARD greenhouse project is a trial production of 14 new different varieties of vegetable seeds (tomato, cucumber) in 1400 m² greenhouse for demonstrating them to interested farmers from Ararat, Armavir, Kotayk, Syunik marzes. The project will be implemented in a private greenhouse in Darakert village of Ararat marz.
In Armenia, the first initiative with “Rijk Zwaan” was a seminar on introduction of cultivation technologies in greenhouses to local farmers held on August 9, 2010.
Farmers supported by MCC - ACDI/VOCA, Water to Market project and leaders of farmers' cooperatives assisted by USDA/CARD took part in the seminar during which different types of tomato, cucumber, pepper and salad seeds were introduced and distributed to them.
CARD will provide necessary farm supplies for the greenhouse in Darakert, a PH testing equipment, fertilizer analyzers and EC meter. These equipments will help farmers to control quantity of soil PH and soil.
The pilot phase of the project was implemented in greenhouses, where four types of cucumber seeds were planted. Andrey Galaguriya, “Rijk Zwaan” agronomist visited Armenia twice to supervise the whole process and conduct trainings on cultivation technologies of these high quality seeds. According to the participants, the trainings were quite productive, as they were complemented with field visits to greenhouses and practical use of technologies.
As a result of the first phase, four new types of cucumbers appeared in the Armenian market. The second stage is expected to carry out planting of wider variety of new high quality tomato seeds in local greenhouses and new cucumber varieties as well.
The objective of the project is to help greenhouse owners/farmers develop their capacities in growing new, high value and high quality agricultural products through application of new varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers and sell them in the local market. The experience and income gained from this demonstrational project will help farmers to launch commercial production of the “best seller” varieties in the local market which may have good perspective in Armenia as high value agricultural products.
The expected results are:
1. 14 new high value agricultural products introduced in at least 100 farmers.
2. Opportunities of farmers to generate more income identified.