April 1, 2015. Yerevan, Armenia. Oxfam in Armenia jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture of RA initiated the public discussion on the present process of the development of the Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development for 2015-2025 in Armenia on March 30, 2015. The event is conducted within the framework of “Improving Regional Food Security in South Caucasus through National Strategies and Smallholder Production” project funded by EU.
Sergo Karapetyan, Minister of Agriculture of RA, Traian Hristea, Head of EU Delegation in Armenia, the representatives of national ministries, international and local organizations, regional and local authorities, small holder farmers’ agricultural cooperatives as well as mass media participated in the public discussion.
Sergo Karapetyan, the Minister of Agriculture of RA in his opening speech emphasised the significance of transparency and public participation in the development of the Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development for 2015-2025.
Referring to the importance of civil society participation in policy-making processes in the country Traian Hristea, Head of EU Delegation in Armenia.
The draft strategy, which will determine the main directions for agriculture development and food security in the country for 2015-2025, has been developed by the national working group initiated by Oxfam within the framework of the Ministry of Agriculture. Working group includes key stakeholders in the agriculture and food security, experts, local and international NGOs. The working group provided technical and expert support to the development of the strategy, which will be submitted for the Government approval later in 2015.
In parallel to the national working group OXFAM initiated working groups in all 10 marzes/provinces of Armenia. Provincial working groups, involving provincial authorities/marzpetarans, provincial private sector organizations/processors, NGOs, banks and micro finance institutions, as well as local authorities and small holder famers, served as a space to identify main expectations and concerns related to food security and agriculture. Issues raised during provincial working group meetings were communicated to the national working group and considered during the strategy development.
Margarita Hakobyan, Oxfam country director in Armenia emphasized the achievements of the National Food Security Working Group in development of the Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SSARD) for 2015-2025.
During the meeting participants of both national and provincial working groups presented the process of strategy development. They highlighted the importance of active involvement of the Agricultural Alliance, private sector, regional and local authorities in the Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (SSARD) for 2015-2025 as a step forward towards more transparent and participatory policy making in the country.
Oxfam is a vibrant global movement of dedicated people fighting poverty and injustice. Since 1994, Oxfam has implemented long-term development programmes in 165 remote rural communities Armenia in close cooperation with the Government, regional and local self governance authorities, a wide range of local non-governmental organizations, as well as networks and coalitions.
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