New Income Opportunities for vulnerable Armenians

by Near East Foundation (NEF)
Oct 12, 2011

Rural Businesses Thriving in Armenia

Dried fruit entrepreneur and project beneficiary
Dried fruit entrepreneur and project beneficiary

Strong micro-enterprise growth continues throughout rural Armenia, where NEF and its partners have helped 15 businesses bring economic development to their struggling communities.

In particular, project beneficiaries in the dried fruit and fish farming industries have made great progress.

Construction of a new dried fruit production facility has finished in the Ptghavan village of the Tavush region.

Franchisee and project participant Andranik Veranyan entered into an agreement with the Regional Employment Center of Tavush. With partial Center financing, eight people are now participating in training organized by Andranik to become workers in his dried fruit production business.

In August 2011, he produced his first batch, 5000 kilograms of dried peaches, using fresh peaches purchased from community farmers. During this process, Andranik developed key technological insights that will enable him to solve minor manufacturing glitches before the next production phase. He is planning to install a new $3,000 compartmentalized drying system, which will allow him to organize processing more effectively when there is less sunlight.  Andranik’s business has grown to have fifteen employees. He has trained all of them personally.

The managers of “STAR” and “Fresh” supermarkets evaluated his product and rated the quality as excellent, which surpassed the expectations of the producer and resellers. A preliminary agreement has been signed between them to buy Andranik’s entire crop of dried peaches in November 2011.

The Rural Armenia Ministry of Finance approved Vahan Safaryan, the owner of a fish farming business, to develop and build new basins.  This will allow for growth in his production to fulfill the expanding market demand. With the developments made possible through this project, Vahan has become the biggest supplier of fresh fish for shops and restaurants in the Gegharkunik region.  This has also presented the opportunity for him to produce and provide other fish farming businesses in Armenia with small fish, helping to extend his growth and progress to other business owners.

For project resources, detailed progress reports, and photos visit  


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Organization Information

Near East Foundation (NEF)

Location: Syracuse, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sarah Peterson
Program Officer
New York, NY, New York United States

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