Monday, June 20 2016 16:26
Alexandr Avanesov

EBRD supports innovation in dairy sector of Armenia

EBRD supports innovation in dairy sector of Armenia

ArmInfo. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) supports the development of innovation and a knowledge-based economy in the dairy sector of Armenia.

The Forum "Innovation and Knowledge-Sharing in the Dairy Sector", organised by the EBRD with the support of the Armenia's Ministry of Agriculture, will take place in Yerevan on 21 June at the American University of Armenia, the EBRD press release says.

Around 80 participants, including commercial dairy farmers, local dairy producers, industry experts as well as the representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture will attend the forum to learn about innovation in the dairy sector across the region (Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine) and key policy and investment priorities which may help accelerate the introduction of best practices in Armenia.

The initiative was designed to build capacity in the sector introducing innovative technologies to make the industry more efficient and productive, with the ultimate objective to improve quality and safety of Armenia's dairy products and to raise the overall competitiveness of the country's agribusiness sector. The event serves to promote Armenia's commercial dairy farming, and share knowledge about state-of-the-art technologies and link dairy processors and primary producers to local universities and educational institutions in the field of agriculture, economics and ICT.

According to a study commissioned the EBRD, Armenia's dairy sector is dominated by small producers using obsolete technologies, and with low productivity and standards.  The study also suggests that there is a vast need of modernisation in production to pave the way for improved quality and safety of local dairy producers.

Following the Forum, the commercial famers in Armenia will be offered training opportunities to improve all aspect of milk production, handling and marketing on a farm level.

"EBRD has been supporting the development of Armenia's agricultural sector for over a decade. The sector contributes around 21% share in the country's GDP and with around 36% labour force engaged in this sector, therefore remains a crucial sector of Armenia's economy. At present we see huge potential in the further development of the dairy sector in Armenia. Increased productivity and quality of milk will help the companies to have better access to finance and attract strategic investors," says Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD's Yerevan Resident Office.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Armenia having invested over EUR1 billion in 149 projects in the country's financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 88 per cent of these investments being in the private sector. In Armenia's agribusiness sector alone EBRD has invested about EUR75 million, including several major dairy producers in Armenia, such as Ashtarak-kat and Araks.

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