From Seeds of Hope to Seeds of Prosperity

Mkhitar Grigoryan, ATG Chief Agronomist, inspects crops in Armenia


YEREVAN—Gagik Mkrtchyan, the Armenian Technology Group’s (ATG) long time in-country director continues to have his impact in the grain industry in Armenia. Recently he was invited to attend the latest conference organized by the Ministry of Agriculture on the weekend of December 5, 2014 in Dilijan, Armenia. The conference studied the agricultural regulations and laws that apply to the grain industry in Armenia, and their impact on the farm level.

When the founding fathers of ATG had established this organization in 1989, their goals never included short term solutions or handouts. Their primary goal was to give the impoverished people of rural Armenia the freedom and power that come with self-sustaining independent work. The wheat seed is only one of the programs that the group has carried out with pride and honor while serving the people of Armenia for the past 25 years.

It all started with our experts from the United States introducing and planting a number of wheat and alfalfa seeds varieties on trial plots in 1992 in Spitak, Armenia. Using the applied science methodology, our scientists, former UC extension agents, have selected the most suitable seed verities for each of the seven growing zones in Armenia. Over the years we continued the research in this field and supplied the farmers with the highest quality seed varieties, and have provided them the proper knowledge and training, which not only help feed the people of Armenia but also aided Armenia’s rural economic development.

Earlier this year the farmers were invited to the annual pre harvest field demonstration that ATG foundation has been holding for the past 20 years. The seminar provides the opportunity to the grain growers to learn about the latest seed available to plant for each specific region of Armenia. The guests included one of ATG’s long time cooperating farmers Vachik Adamyan from Artsakh. The purpose of his visit, as in the past, was to select new seed varieties for his fields.

Throughout the years, the Armenian Technology Group continued to introduce the latest and most innovative agricultural methodology and machinery. The group introduced and manufactured two generations of lends levelers in Armenia in the 1990’s and the No-Till farming technology in 2007, which significantly increased the yield volume, while decreasing the farmers’ production costs by 65%. ATG has been active in every region of Armenia, where they have organized over 380 seminars and field demonstrations. The ATG offices in Armenia provide educational materials about the correct seed types and use of farm inputs, along with safety procedures that have to be followed during application.

“We are pleased that Gagik and his team have been able to administer our operations in Armenia effectively,” said Varoujan Der Simonian, Executive Director of ATG. “The Board of Directors are pleased that their objective of transferring the management of our activities to a local team has been realized.”

The ATG continues to provide its services to the wheat growing farmers, by cleaning and processing their harvest. This service insures that we continue to segregate specific seed varieties from each other, and maintain the highest quality standard of each seed growing generation.

The seed multiplication program started with the financial support of US Government and the Armenian-American communities. Through the support of private sectors’ contributions, ATG is also involved in other agricultural development projects to help the people of Armenia.

ATG is a 501 (c)3 charitable organization. Voluntary contributions are highly appreciated. Contributors can mail their tax-deductible donations to ATG at P. O. Box 5969 Fresno CA 93755.

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2 Comments

  1. Antoine S. Terjanian said:

    Thank you for a partially informative article, and bravo to ATG for their reported successes.
    From reading this article, I know where to send my cheque so ATG can do more good work in Armenia.
    But if I were an Armenian farmer, where can I get information and seeds from ATG in Armenia?

  2. Nadia Aharonian said:

    Since the no-till method is used I assume and hope that you are growing organically?

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