Poverty reduction in Armenia possible through boosting agricultural production
By the World Bank's estimate, poverty in Armenia may reach 27,9% in 2010.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Regional
Conference for Europe and Central Asia kicked off in Marriott hotel,
Yerevan, Armenia, on May 13, with high-ranking officials from 41 FAO
member countries, EU (Member Organization), observers from EU Council,
UN and Holy See of Vatican participating.

May 17, 2010

The FAO provided USD 1,8 million funding to Armenia in 2008-2009. This
year, USD 40 thousand was provided for Nubarashen pesticide waste
burial place research laboratory. USD 600 thousand is supposed to be
allocated for development of seed farming, USD 2 million for upgrading
laboratories and USD 1.6 thousand for construction of new facilities
for cattle slaughter. Struggle against brucellosis is also among FAO
priority programs.

The Europe and Central Asia region has achieved striking success in
fighting poverty and food insecurity over the last ten years, with
agriculture playing a key role. But the international financial and
economic crisis could threaten that process FAO Director-General
Jacques Diouf said.

`The financial and economic crisis could adversely affect the progress
and the significant improvement in living standards that have been
achieved in the region in the last decade. FAO studies have shown that
the crisis has weakened agriculture, particularly in the countries of
Central and East Europe. In addition, World Bank estimates show that
Europe and Central Asia is the region that has been hit hardest by the
crisis,' he said.

`Since 1998, some 50 million people in the Europe and Central Asia
region have succeeded in moving out of poverty - a striking example of
success in fighting poverty and food insecurity. In Central Asia, the
number of people suffering from hunger fell by 38 percent from 9.3
million in 2000-2002 to 5.8 million in 2004-2006... Agriculture has
played a key role. History showed that `there is no more powerful
engine for stimulating growth and eradicating hunger and poverty than
investment in agriculture. But sufficient financial resources were
needed. Globally $44 billion a year of Official Development Assistance
was required to finance modern inputs, rural infrastructures and
technologies for the benefit of small farmers in poor countries,'
Diouf said. `Investing in Europe and Central Asia could help resolve
hunger in other regions of the world. It was estimated that with
sufficient investment, nearly 10 million hectares of arable land could
be brought back into cultivation to grow grains and oilseeds in
Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.'

Diouf, who launched a major international anti-hunger campaign, the
`1billionhungry project', to bring pressure on world leaders to pull a
billion people out of hunger, said he is convinced that `together we
can eliminate hunger from our planet.'

By the World Bank's estimate, poverty in Armenia may reach 27,9% in
2010, as a consequence of the global financial crisis.

Hripsime Hayrapetyan / PanARMENIAN News