ArmInfo. From now on the Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI) project implemented by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with the EU co-financing will be available for small farmer enterprises in Armenia, Coordinator of the OASI program for small farms Hasmik Altunyan informed at today's event attached to the launch of the first round of OASI program for large and medium farms, which have been given certificates for receiving grants.
According to her within the program small farms will be provided with assistance amounted to 10 thousand EUR each (financing includes systems of drip irrigation, lightning protection systems, packaging and labeling equipment, packing materials, electric driers, etc.). Mandatory condition for participation is 3 years experience in agriculture on the territory of Armenia, organic certificate or intention to receive it. Representatives of small farms can submit applications for participation in the program till October 24.
At the same time Executive Director of Austrian Development Agency Martin Ledolter made a speech at the event and expressed readiness to continue cooperation with Armenia within OASI program. According to him 17% of producers in Austria (nearly 20 thousand) are engaged in organic agriculture, as a result of which 10% of the products presented in the country's supermarkets are organic. "Austria is among the top three leaders in the world in producing organic food products", he stressed. In this light Ledolter expressed assurance that in the nearest future this initiative will also play a great role for Armenia in developing organic agriculture.
OASI Project Manager David Muckenhuber in turn presented to 18 beneficiaries of the program (who were chosen out of 72 medium and large farms) certificates for receiving grants, the total amount of which exceeded 800 thousand EUR.
To note, OASI program in Armenia is aimed at developing organic agriculture and at contributing to successful sale of Armenia's organic products both on domestic and foreign markets. The total budget of the program is 3.3 mln EUR. Since 1992 EU has provided assistance to Armenia amounted to 500 mln EUR.