Buckwheat is now being produced in Armenia thanks to the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). But what will the production of buckwheat do for Armenian communities?
“Cultivating the same crops, we reached the point when field-crop cultivation was not economically profitable,” says Koryun Smbulyan, Head of “Nor Hatik” Cooperative in the village of Bavra, Shirak province.
“And if field-crop cultivation is not profitable, it means that cattle-breeding is also not profitable.”
According to Koryun, after years of continuously harvesting the same crops such as wheat, barley and potatoes, the soil in Bavra has degraded and it now contains no useful substances.
The ENPARD project promoted field-crop cultivation, which the farmers were previously unaware of. “Now we try to grow and process buckwheat. We are a nation with a 30-40-thousand-year history. We have not grown and processed this crop before. Now we are trying,” Koryun says.
The ENPARD programme was launched in Armenia in January 2015 and will last for three years. It is designed to support agricultural institutions, encourage the development of farmers’ associations and improve access to more affordable food in the European Neighbourhood countries.
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