EPRD in cooperation with partners from Portugal and Belgium is starting the implementation of a new TACIS project in Armenia: Support to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Armenia is a country with very ancient and rich culture on the borders of Europe and Asia. Armenia was by ages dominated by more powerful neighbours – Persia, Ottoman Empire and Russia, but in 1991 regained independence and since that time the Armenian society has been pacing on the way of state institutions building and social and economic transformation.
Since the beginning of the independency, Armenia has being supported by the European Union in efforts aiming at democratisation and peace building process in the region. The basis for cooperation was the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, concluded in 1996. The agreement entered in force in 1999, and allowed to allocate financial and technical assistance for regional development and institution building reforms. The cooperation between Armenia and the EU is currently conducted in the framework of the new EU initiative – the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The present project – Support to the Ministry of Agriculture – envisages actions aiming at enforcing the Armenian Veterinary Services by the application of the following activities:
(1) elaboration of a legal framework and adaptation of current Veterinary and Food Safety legislation to the EU standards
(2) Trainings and seminars for central and regional Veterinary services staff on the EU Food Safety standards and regulations
(3) preparation of the National Food Safety Control Strategy and supporting it National Animal Disease Surveillance System.
(4) support to modernisation of central and regional veterinary laboratories equipment and training delivery for the laboratories personnel
(5) Preparation of “the Cold Chain” implementation of the meat transport from the slaughter houses to the points of sale.
(6) study visits in Poland and Portugal for the Armenian Veterinary Services personnel in order to demonstrate the Food Safety Mechanisms in the European Union Member States.
In the result of the project implementation, the standards of the food safety and quality of food products as well as the Armenian Veterinary Service performance’s efficiency will be raised. The project’s beneficiaries are not only the involved state institutions personnel, but in the largest dimension the multitude of meat consumers and producers will profit from the undertaken activities. The meaning of the project is highlighted by the role of Agriculture in the Armenian economy – about 30% of the country’s GDP is generated in agri-food sector. The improvements of the Food Control System will lead to improvements of the food production and will increase the food export to the EU countries.
The team in charge of the project’s implementation, which is composed of 4 experts, compiles the exceptional combination of the experience of the Old EU Member States as well as the EU New Members and the Candidate Countries. A Polish Veterinary Expert is the team leader and amongst other members of the crew, there are experts from the Netherlands, Germany and Bulgaria.
The project will be implemented within the next 18 months. The contract value is 829 620 Euro.