During the conference, participants will have the opportunity to join one of the four field trips offered. They will get a chance to visit a technological fresh mushrooms production, a family-owned wine and brandy factory in the Ararat Valley, as well as one of the leading producers of brandy in Armenia based in Yerevan. Field trip options include a visit to Green Lane Training Center where conference participants will learn about educational and research opportunities at this unique organic farm, and will have an opportunity to have lunch of local products. A field trip is also planned to a new farm and veterinary service center in Kotayk province set up by the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD).
The field trips are planned either for half a day or for a full day. Field trip registration will take place during the conference. Detailed information about the field trips is provided below.
FIELD TRIP №1. Aroghj Sunk LLC Fresh Mushrooms Production + Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple
From 9:00 to 15:30. Lunch will be served.
Aroghj Sunk (Healthy Mushroom) LLC is the leader in growing and selling of fresh mushrooms (the brand name is “White Cap”). The company was established in 2004 and during the last several years it exports products to various countries.
The company is equipped with cutting-edge technologies due to which the cost and price of the company’s production is competitive as compared with a number of Western major manufacturers.
The company is mainly engaged in fresh mushroom production and produces three mushroom types: champignons, royal champignons or portobello and oyster mushrooms in five marzes (provinces) of Armenia. Mushroom production technology is almost totally automated.
Two years ago, the company developed a new policy and revised its business mission. The new doctrine included (i) diversification of delivery markets; (ii) increase of social responsibility; and (iii) manifestation to become a leader and an example for replication not only in the sub-sector but also in agriculture industry at large. During the field trip you will learn how the company became the first company in Armenia to implement the Global GAP standard and how addressed other challenges as improvement of the mentoring and raising the level of environmental safety of production and losses reduction in a production system.
Van 777 Wine and Brandy Factory is a family-owned estate situated in the Ararat Valley with a magnificent view of Biblical Mount Ararat. The factory was founded in 1992 by winemaker and entrepreneur Mihran Manaseryan, the fourth generation of his family to master the techniques in the art of making wine and brandy. He is creating the most fabulous wines and brandies based on the traditions passed on from his ancestors who lived in what is today known as Van, Turkey. In 1997, the first portfolios of wines were marketed, and the company signed contracts with Russian and German exporters. The following year, Van 777 signed a contract with American exporters. In 2000, Van 777 entered the local brandy market, offering consumers exceptional types of high quality brandies of various ages. Soon the Manaseryans and Van 777 became famous for their quality products not only in the local market but also abroad. Despite the intense market competition, the Manaseryan family enterprise captured its place in the market and solidified its reputation as a producer of excellent wines and brandies. Currently, over 90% of Van 777 brandy is exported to Russia and Germany.
Farm and Veterinary Service Center in Nor Gyugh community (Kotayk province) is a new service center established by the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD). This center will provide a package of services to local farmers and link them with international companies that provide supplies, equipment, and information on new technologies for animal husbandry management. The center will be equipped with modern facilities and tools for artificial insemination and veterinary practices. The center will also cooperate with veterinarians and artificial insemination technicians from nearby communities. The Center will provide services to over 2,500 local farmers from 20 communities in Kotayk.
The US Department of Agriculture designed this private extension model through CARD in 2011. The center in Nor Gyugh is the 7th USAID-supported center, 3 of which are already self-sustaining.
Green Lane Training Center (Facebook page) was established in 2015 through a partnership between Green Lane Agricultural Assistance NGO and Green Life LTD. Green Lane Training Center is a unique model of an organic farm that offers educational and research opportunities to farmers and students, as well as anyone who is interested in agriculture. Green Lane offers theoretical and practical knowledge through trainings, providing beneficiaries and partners the tools necessary to successfully grow organic food crops. The center is fully equipped to host participants and guests for stays ranging from a few days to a few weeks, while they learn organic, sustainable, and smart farming practices.
The area of practical trainings and experimental demonstrations is about 2,800 m2. This includes an orchard, dozens of vegetable beds, a lemonarium (greenhouse for growing citrus), and a covered patio. About 100 crops are cultivated for demonstration purposes, taking into consideration climate compatibility and soil requirements. Traditional and non-traditional crops, fruit and nut trees, berries, salad greens, medicinal herbs, and even ornamental plants are grown onsite. A drip irrigation system is in place, as well as anti-hail nets, and other productive cultivation methods that increase the efficiency of a small organic farm. Mixed sowings, crop rotation, mulching, and other technologies new to farmers in Armenia are practiced. Only safe, non-toxic technologies are used for pest and disease control. The soil is fertilized only with organic fertilizers, which are produced locally, onsite. Compost and bio-humus production areas have been established by recycling agricultural and household wastes. An efficient energy system is in place, complete with a solar dryer for preserving the various fruits grown onsite, photovoltaic panels to supplement electricity consumption, and solar water-heating panels to provide hot showers.
Green Lane Training Center is located about 12 km from Yerevan in the small village of Dzoraghbyur. Dzoraghbyur is about 15-25 minutes’ drive from Yerevan.
Noy Yerevan Brandy Factory commonly known for its famous brand Noy, is a leading Armenian brandy production company located in Yerevan, Armenia. It was founded in 1877 during the rule of the Russian Empire. The factory is located on the left bank of Hrazdan river in the center of Yerevan in the historic Erivan Fortress. The factory houses a museum that features the history of the factory as well as the notable figures who worked on the development of the factory, including Tairyan, Shustov, Sedrakyan, Musinyants and Silchenko. Yerevan Brandy Factory offers visitors insight into the production of its world-renowned brandy, as well as the opportunity to taste it. The factory has produced the first and only non-French brandy allowed to bear the name “cognac” and went on to become the official purveyor of the drink to the Russian Imperial Court. A guided tour reveals the factory’s 125-year history, allows visitors to view antique bottles and barrels, and offers glimpses of the subterranean barrel storage areas.
The factory currently produces several types of famous Armenian brandies including “Noy” and “Araspel”. “Noy” is a well-known brand, and its 25-year-old “Brandy Noy Tirakal” is famous worldwide. The factory’s products are exported to many countries of the CIS and Europe, as well as the United States and Australia.