In December 2006, EPRD, in the framework of the TACIS project Support to Ministry of Agriculture in Armenia, organised a study visit for representatives of the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture and State Veterinary Inspection accompanied by the Project Team Leader.
The study tour lasted five days. In this short period of time visitors managed to hold cycle of meetings with the key representatives of Polish Ministry of Agriculture, General Veterinary Inspectorate as well as Veterinary Research and Academic entities in Warsaw, Cracow, Sokolow and Pulawy.
The Armenian visitors were welcomed by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Chief Veterinary Officer Ms. Ewa Lech. Warm reception in all visited places was the main characteristic of the tour.
Since one of the main visit objectives was to present the structure of the Veterinary Services in Poland, the Armenian guests had opportunity to gain the full picture of the organisation through visiting the Veterinary Inspectorates on all operational levels from the central one in Warsaw and in Pulawy till the Regional and Poviat level in Krakow and Sokolow Podlaski.
The practical dimension of the visit was emphasised by paying visit to the most modern meat factory in Poland in Sokolow Podlaski. Armenian guests were acquainted with the methods and techniques of the veterinary control over the production cycle applied in the plant. Visits at National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW) in Warsaw allowed to present the equipment and means used by Polish veterinarians in their day-to day activities related to meat control and food safety issues.
The participants of study tour were deeply interested in Polish experience in adaptation of Veterinary structures to the EU standards. They highly appreciated the quality of meetings and the progress done by Poland during the last years.
The EPRD staff supported the visit in all their aspects, including logistic and administrative issues.
As a result, the Armenian guests were familiarised with organisation of institutions responsible for the creation of veterinary and food legislation in Poland, and the harmonization of Polish veterinary and food safety laws with the acquis communautaire. The visitors were acquainted with the structure and functioning of the veterinary and food control services at the national and local level in Poland as well as the duties and responsibilities of the Polish State Veterinary Inspection.
The study tour was the first one organised in the framework of the TACIS project Support to Ministry of Agriculture in Armenia implemented by EPRD in cooperation with Portuguese and Belgian partners. The next visits are to be organised in Poland and Portugal in short period of time.