SOAA brings together organic stakeholders and the teaching team at Armenian tea company

16. October 2023 Entwicklungsforschung
Participants enjoy break during exkursion
The APPEAR project SOAA continues cooperation between the organic pioneers in Armenia and the teaching team of the Organic Agriculture Master’s program (OAMP).

This time they have landed on the fascinating calendula fields of Antaram company.  Antaram, established in 1989, produces medicinal herbs and herbal teas. Translated from Armenian it means 'Yellow Chaste Weed' or 'Everlasting' (lat. Helichrysum). Many Armenian rural families from the region are involved in the production. A wide range of herbal teas is presented, from 50 wild collected and 7 cultivated herbs.

As the OAMP is dependent on the success of the Armenian organic sector, the APPEAR project SOAA (Strengthening Organic Agriculture in Armenia: Participatory Higher Education and Knowledge Exchange for Development) builds on the existing momentum established earlier by previous project between higher education and the organic sector, and even goes beyond. In September 2023, the stakeholder committee, the OAMP teaching team with the Dean of Faculty and SOAA project members visited Antarma’s facilities, to get to know the modernization pathways of the company, the production site and the growing fields. Director Areg Galstyan gave the team a tour of the company. This was followed by a presentation by former APPEAR scholar Dr. Hasmik Hovakimyan, who highlighted the changes that OAMP is currently undergoing in parallel with the milestones of the previous project BOAA and SOAA. The participants discussed the new challenges of the organic sector in Armenia, and most importantly, came up with fresh ideas for cooperation, student internships at stakeholders companies/farms within the framework of the OAMP. The project lead Lusine Nalbandyan informed the team about the number of new master's students accepted to the OAMP, news about the SOAA project, upcoming events. She wrapped up the event with words of gratitude for the participation, once again mentioning that these events will be continuous. SOAA will invest with all its energy to ensure the success of OAMP in  the next two years.