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Sustainability of agricultural production in Armenia - analysis of the current situation and improvements through farm advice and facilitation of policy action to adapt framework conditions using the RISE

English title Sustainability of agricultural production in Armenia - analysis of the current situation and improvements through farm advice and facilitation of policy action to adapt framework conditions using the RISE
Applicant Studer Christoph
Number 110865
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Hochschule für Agrar-, Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL Berner Fachhochschule BFH
Institution of higher education Berne University of Applied Sciences - BFH
Main discipline Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Start/End 01.11.2005 - 31.03.2009
Approved amount 71'945.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Agricultural Engineering
Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education

Keywords (4)

Armenia; RISE; sustainability assessment; indicators of sustainability

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Project objective in brief

The project aims at analyzing the sustainability of agricultural production in Armenia and at improving it through farm advice and the facilitation of policy action to adapt framework conditions. Applying the RISE (Response-Inducing Sustainability Evaluation) model as sustainability assessment and management tool shall help farmers and decision makers to overcome the difficulties Armenian agriculture faces during the transition period, through research and simultaneous development on the ground.

Context and significance

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenian agriculture is facing severe changes and problems, particularly with regard to inadequate farming practices and marketing of farm produce. To improve and develop efficient and sustainable agriculture in Armenia, the Ministry of Agriculture together with FAO designed a "Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural Development". RISE is considered a very useful tool to analyze and ease the current situation of Armenian agriculture, and to achieve the objectives of the strategy. Through its dual benefit of (1) facilitating/inducing improvements at the farms level and (2) allowing for the identification of potentials and bottlenecks with regard to framework conditions, large-scale use of RISE allows for simultaneous research and development through a unique combination of research, extension and education. Analysis of farm-level data at higher level (sector, catchments, region, etc.) allows developing recommendations to adapt framework conditions fostering sustainable production.

Methodology and approach

RISE ( provides a holistic overview on strengths/potentials and weaknesses regarding the sustainability of agricultural production, covering economic, ecologic and social aspects.By identifying intervention points for improvement, RISE not only aims at diagnosis, but rather at the initiation of measures to improve sustainability. The model allows for benchmarking over time (e.g. for baseline studies, monitoring, impact assessment), over space (even internationally), and over different farm types/sectors and can thus visualize trends and developments. The RISE methodology uses a standardized approach and is, in spite of its complexity, relatively simple to apply.

To introduce RISE in Armenia, a core group of Armenian scientists is introduced to RISE and the principles of sustainable agricultural production. A "RISE hub" (competence center) is being established at the Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC) of the Armenian Agricultural Academy (AAA), disseminating this knowledge and training advisors and extension agents to carry out RISE assessments and provide the farmers with appropriate feedback. After a pilot project covering different (typical) farm types, large-scale sustainability assessments will provide insight into the current sustainability situation and indicate possible adaptations to the framework conditions to improve the situation and ease the transition period. This information will be disseminated to the relevant stakeholders.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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