YEREVAN, September 27. / ARKA /. Armenian agriculture minister Sergo Karapetian said Wednesday if the first stage of World Bank-funded five-year Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness (CARMAC) Project with a $21.3 million budget succeeds, the WB will provide fresh funds for its continuation.
CARMAC is designed to improve productivity and sustainability of pasture-based livestock farms in 55 mountainous communities by increasing milk production, improving pasture management, and enhancing farm sales of livestock products. It will help address key constraints facing these activities, including unsustainable pasture management and underutilization, persistent diseases, processing and marketing constraints.
CARMAC is part of the government’s broader effort to overcome and reverse a major decline in agriculture that was registered over the past years, largely due to highly unfavourable weather conditions.
The project activities are clustered in the poorer mountainous areas of the country, where pasture resource degradation is acute. Overall, 55 villages in six regions with a total population of around 78,000 will benefit from the project.”
Total financing of the Project is US$ 21.33 million, of which the government of Armenia finances US$ 5.33 million. The IDA credit carries a maturity of 20 years including a grace period of 10 years.
Speaking at a parliament discussion of a government report on its 2011 budget execution, the minister said the project has produced small progress with livestock growing last year by 0.1%.
According to the National Statistical Service, the country’s gross livestock production in 2011 amounted to 369.2 billion drams. In 2011 Armenia had 571,357 cows and oxen. In the first six months of this year this sector reported a 2 percent growth.
The minister said this year’s plan of action includes also artificial insemination of cows, as well as measures to prevent livestock diseases. He also said Armenia is the first among CIS countries in terms of increasing the number of livestock over the past 15 years.
"Today, we meet fully the demand for fresh beef. The imported meat is used for production of sausages " he said. -0-