SOAA project kick off and first meetings in Armenia

19. January 2023

At the end of May 2022, the SOAA project kicked off with a visit from Milena Klimek, the BOKU project coordinator, to ANAU. In addition to hosting project meetings in person, the visit was used to view the current status of the organic Akunq farm, which will be co-designed withing the project scope, and to understand the current status of the Organic Agriculture Master Program (OAMP) at ANAU.  To do so there was a site visit to Akunq, a focus group with students of the OAMP, an interactive discussion session and questionnaire with the existing teaching team, a workshop with the stakeholder committee, and meetings with the rector, and the faculty of agriculture in which the OAMP is embedded.

Although a lengthy list for improvements was tabulated, there were two particular highlights of the trip. These included finalizing the new project lead: Lusine Nalbandyan and including community building in the stakeholder workshops by having a baking bread activity in teaching team member Narine Hovhanninisyan’s baking lab. The meeting was successful in understanding the current status and next steps needed in order to improve curriculum and foster co-creation of a relevant and useful organic student research farm.