USAID Unveils Three New Centers in Tavush to Boost Regional Development

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Banner in front of the Wine and Vine Support Center in Achajur, Armenia
The new Wine and Vine Support Center and the Viticulture Farm Service Center in Achajur, Tavush, will help revitalize the province's old wine-making traditions, giving them a modern twist and new perspectives for regional tourism development.
Armine Karabekian, USAID/Armenia

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 11, 2018

On October 10, USAID, the Government of Armenia and local partners marked the official opening of three new facilities in Tavush province that will help advance economic development and effective local government in the country’s north. USAID Armenia Mission Director, Deborah Grieser; Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Territorial and Administration Development, Vache Terteryan; Governor of Tavush Vahe Ghalumyan; and representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, partner organizations, and the local community were in attendance.

The new Viticulture Farm Service Center and the Wine and Vine Support Center, established in Achajur through the joint efforts of the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) and the USAID-funded Advanced Rural Development Initiative (ARDI) and Partnerships for Rural Prosperity (PRP) projects, will serve about 2,000 farmers in Tavush engaged in grape cultivation and wine production. The Wine and Vine Support Center in Achajur is the first of its kind in Armenia, and the community’s Viticulture Farm Service Center is one of the eight centers established across the country by CARD through USAID’s rural development programs.  

USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser noted that the new centers in Achajur would promote advanced vineyard management and wine production techniques in Tavush and across Armenia, assist local grape producers and farmers with consulting, laboratory services, and high quality agricultural equipment, and link them to world-class international companies.  

“Agriculture and tourism can both be transformative for Armenia’s long-term development and economic resilience: together, they contribute about 36% of the country’s GDP. Thanks to the unique design and activities of these centers, we hope they will become a new tourist attraction and modern technology demonstration hub for Tavush visitors,” Grieser said, sharing that a partnership with the Yerevan Brandy Company was in store to support the initiative and to help supply grape varieties that are resistant to phylloxera. CARD is also closely collaborating with the French Wine and Vine Institute to bring their expertise to Armenia, conduct trainings for local farmers, and import quality and virus-free rootstocks.  

Later in Haghartsin, USAID unveiled the new Machinery Service Center established as part of the Local Governance Reform Activity (LGRA), a Government-to-Government partnership between USAID and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia. Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development Vache Terteryan, Governor of Tavush Vahe Ghalumyan, Mayor of Dilijan Armen Santrosyan, and representatives of the Armenia Territorial Development Fund participated in the ceremony.

The Dilijan community, which now connects six adjacent villages including Haghartsin, is among the first three pilots out of 13 consolidated communities that are supported by USAID under the LGRA program. In 2017, Dilijan received 11 pieces of community service equipment and vehicles from USAID, including a garbage collection truck, an auto-grader, a multi-functional excavator, harvesting combines, and a utility truck, to improve infrastructure and promote local development through new opportunities for the local residents. Along with providing quality services, the new machinery has triggered revenue generation for the local budget, allowing the municipality to use the savings for other development needs of the community.  

“Viable communities are the foundation of a country’s stability and security, and the U.S. Government stands ready to continue to support local governance development in Armenia,” USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser said. “Dilijan is the largest recipient of our project’s assistance over the past three years, and we hope this Center will be a valuable contribution to the long-term development of the community. Our shared goal is to help Armenia improve the public sector environment through better services, new jobs, and revenue generation to drive local growth,” Grieser said, noting that USAID’s assistance had allowed the Dilijan municipality to open 13 new jobs for the community.  

By the year 2020, the Dilijan community will also benefit from three additional vehicles and a new LED street lighting system as part of the USAID LGRA program.