Consultancy services for the Implementation of startup packages for Window 1

  • Sector:Agriculture
  • Services: Project design and implementation
  • Period: June 16, 2020-June 16, 2022
  • Description:

The Republic of Armenia (RA) has received funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), some of which are used by IFAD to implement  “Window 1 - Diversification and Food Security Programme” (Window 1 Project). Window 1 Project is implemented by the “Rural Areas Economic Development Programmes Implementation Unit” (RAED PIU) of the RA Ministry of Economy. The Project Consultant and technical implementer is AM Partners Consulting Company (Consultant). Window 1 is implemented from 16.06.2020.-16.02.2022 period.

Window 1 Project is implemented within the framework of the Infrastructure and Rural Finance Support Programme (IRFSP). IRFSP was launched in 2016. It is financed by the IFAD, OFID and the RA Government. The overall objective of the IRFSP is to improve the population's economic and social status in selected weak rural areas, creating employment and income opportunities for them.

The IRFSP consists of 5 components, one of which is the project management and the other four are project interventions. Those are:

  1. Rural Finance,
  2. Rural Areas Water Infrastructure,
  3. Farmer Awareness and Support,
  4. Sustainable Land Management for Increased Productivity.

The Sustainable Land Management Component is financed by the GEF, which stepped into the IRFSP to enhance the overall resilience of rural communities living in risk-prone areas of Armenia by:

  • integrating soil and water conservation measures in the development of the targeted high-value agroforestry and vegetable crops, and
  • restoring the resilience to land degradation and climate-risks of the agro-ecosystems and the rural population in the project communal lands.

To improve the resilience of the baseline agriculture production interventions two diverse financing options (windows) aiming at the diversification and food security and the development of farming systems were developed. In this context it is foreseen to provide small grants (start-up packages) and Combined Financial Products to vulnerable groups (women headed households, young farmers, and poor households) and to smallholder farmers willing to undertake sustainable farming based on land conservation principles in the selected areas.

Therefore, the sub-component will have two windows: 

  • Window 1 - Diversification and Food Security Programme (DFSP-start up packages); and
  • Window 2 - Sustainable Farming Programme (SFP -combined financing products).

Under the Window 1 Project, it is planned to provide a grant-financed package of maximum USD 3,000 to at least 320 households in the target settlements to diversify their small-scale farm production and nutrition in the following 3 types of activities:

  1. Sustainable vegetable and orchard production: this grant package will finance sustainable vegetable and orchard production  (tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, garlic, berries, and mushrooms) including: a) small-sized low tunnels necessary for vegetable production; establishment or maintenance of orchards (small tools, seedlings); b) installation of small-scale efficient irrigation systems (e.g., drip irrigation); c) purchase/production of organic fertilizers; small equipment for wild products value chain (e.g., production and packaging of wild herbs and berries).
  2. Fruit drying: this grant package will finance small electric fruit driers (capacity of 150 kg).
  3. Beekeeping: this grant package will finance the provision of bees and beehives, honey extraction small-scale machines and packaging materials.

The target area of Window 1 Project covers 16 settlements in 3 regions of Armenia, including:

  • Shahumyan, Nor Ughi, Pokr Vedi and Surenavan settlements in Ararat region;
  • Arpi and Zaritap settlements in Vayots Dzor region;
  • Spandaryan, Darbas, Harzhis, Meghri, Agarak, Karchevan, Lehvaz, Alvank, Shvanidzor and Nrnadzor settlements.

Beneficiaries of the Window 1 Project are the households representing the following 3 vulnerable groups from the target settlements:

  • Women led HH’s,
  • Youth led HH’s, and
  • Poor HH’s.