USDA Opens Yerevan Office to Develop Regional Agribusiness Initiative

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially opened an office in Yerevan on Wednesday to carry out its Caucasus Agribusiness Development Initiative (CADI) in Armenia. The office will work with the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture to provide services to Armenian farmers and consumers by improving food safety systems–accurate and reliable information on agricultural production and prices–as well as assistance in areas ranging from organic farming certification to farm credit.

CADI–which is implemented by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)–focuses on building regulatory capacity–supporting market-based agricultural policy and institutions–and promoting agribusiness development.

The project assists farmers–agribusiness–and rural communities in producing–processing–and marketing food and other farm-related products in order to generate increased income for rural households and facilitate economic development of Armenia’s rural sectors by enhancing the quality of goods and services produced.

United States Ambassador to Armenia John Evans–presided over the official opening of the Yerevan office. Other officials included Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture Davit Lokian–and several USDA officials.

Evans said the USDA has assisted Armenia’since 1996 by developing 21 farmer associations–and 60 agribusiness clients. USDA has also partnered with the Armenian Agricultural State Agrarian University (ASAU) formerly know as the Armenian Agricultural Academy (AAA) and supported the Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC)–the Foundation of Applied Research and Agribusiness (FARA)–and the Extension Development and Youth Program–modeled after the US 4-H program–the Village Well Project–and the Small Farm Water Management and Research Center.

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