ArmInfo. Armenia's Minister of Agriculture Ignatiy Arakelyan discussed with Director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in South Caucasus Olivier Burke prospects of cooperation in agricultural field.
The press-service of the Ministry informs that Burke confirmed the SDC readiness to continue multi-format cooperation with the Ministry and noted that the main goal of the Agency is to stimulate business activity in Armenia, provide assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises in development of value chains in Armenia and ensuring availability of markets for them.
Burke pointed at efficient and successful process of implementation of programs being implemented by SDC in a number of regions in Armenia, particularly in Syunik and emphasized the Swiss side's intention to expand frameworks of cooperation.
Olivier Burke also noted that SDC is interested in expanding and strengthening relations in the field of trade and agriculture between Armenia and Georgia.
Minister Arakelyan stressed that records of animals is the number one task of the agriculture as of today, particularly in the context of ensuring food security of the country. In this light the Minister proposed to organize joint discussions around this issue with stakeholders.
The sides touched upon initiatives implemented by the SDC in Armenia particularly "Livestock Development in the South of Armenia in 2014-2020", "Markets for Meghri" in 100 rural communities in Syunik and Vayotz Dzor regions, as well as a number of issues in the field of agriculture.
To note, international donors have provided nearly $100 mln to Armenia for agricultural programs being implemented at the moment, Deputy Minister Armen Harutyunyan stated at the press conference on December 2 answering to ArmInfo's question. The Deputy Minister stated that UN, USAID assist development of agriculture in Armenia, while the EU has become the largest donor of agricultural sector in Armenia. Thus, only in 2015-2016 programs amounting to 35 mln EUR were approved, which are being implemented by the EU Delegation to Armenia within the Eastern Partnership program. Programs with the French Development Agency, Austrian Development Agency have also been implemented. The Armenian government also cooperates with Swiss Agency for Development in implementation of agricultural programs.