Polska pomoc

 

Fruit dryer for Aygedzor village

The Aygedzor village is located in north-east Armenia, 780 metres above sea level, near the border with Azerbaijan. Living and working conditions in Aygedzor are extremely difficult. The area is facing structural unemployment and intense migration. This is the consequence of the geographical isolation of the village and its proximity to Azerbaijan, with which Armenia remains in conflict.

The area has a warm climate, the land is fertile and the majority of residents cultivate fruit trees. Armenia is famous for the high quality fruit and processed fruit products. The country owes it to its favourable climate, a lack of industry that would generate pollution and the fact that a large-scale farming using chemicals for growing and protecting plants has not yet developed there. Agricultural production relies on small- and medium-sized enterprises or small family-owned farms, which sometimes associate as a cooperative or a farmers’ union. Drying fruit and vegetables is one of the most promising branches of agricultural food processing in the country. Presently, 240 drying facilities operate in Armenia, 20 of which are convection dryers, whereas the majority of them are traditional solar dryers.

In the Aygedzor village traditional fruit drying is more common. There is not a single modern production line in this area. It decreases the efficiency of work, because the fruit drying process becomes longer and it is impossible to control its duration (as it depends on the weather) and bad harvest is a frequent occurrence. A convection chamber dryer ensures a shorter and more controllable duration of the drying process which does not depend on the weather and allows to produce higher quality fruit and vegetables. They will retain their properties to a greater extent: they will be free of dust or other mechanical impurities which are present in open solar dryers, they will be tastier and look much more attractive (light colour). Prepared in such a way, they could be officially sold, also abroad.

Fruit dryer for Aygedzor village

The project is scheduled to be implemented from 20 June to 30 December 2016 in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Yerevan and its local partner, the Association of Farmers of Armenia. Its primary objective is to support local farmers - the members of the Association of Farmers from the Aygedzor village, by purchasing a gas convection dryer for fruit and vegetables. It will help to increase the dried products output, ensure an improved and more efficient manner of management, thus generating higher profit for local farms and improving living conditions. In the long term, the project can contribute to the reduction of unemployment and depopulation in rural areas. The dryer will be purchased, transported and mounted. The new dryer will reduce the drying process and the fruit and vegetables will be of higher quality.

The beneficiaries of the project will be the farmers - members of the Association of Farmers of Armenia in Aygedzor (20 people), their families, workers, contract staff and farms in the Aygedzor village that will deliver fruit and vegetables for drying.

Fruit dryer for Aygedzor village

The project was completed from 2 September to 26 October, 2016. The objective of the project was to support farmers - the members of the Association of Farmers, by purchasing a fruit and vegetable dryer with a view to increasing the dried products output, managing the products more efficiently, generating higher profit for local farms and improving living conditions.

Initially, the project was supposed to focus on the Aygedzor village in the Tavush Province. Due to the consequences of the April Four-Day War and the village being located close to the Azerbaijan border, the president of the Associations of Farmers of Armenia suggested that the project be moved to the Munghi village in the Aragatsotn Province to ensure that the project was safe. The direct beneficiaries of the project will be the farmers who are members of the Association of Farmers of Munghi, their families, contract staff and farms in neighbouring villages that will deliver fruit and vegetables for drying.

The project was fully financed from the funds of the Polish Aid and its value amounted to approximately PLN 44,000 (approximately EUR 10,500). For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: EUR 1 = PLN 4.1749.