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Armenia Fund USA Inc.
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 2205
New York, NY 10038

Tax ID: 13-3696515

Phone: 212-689-5307
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For Immediate Release
February 10, 2006


The three-year three-region agricultural development program will create a new level of economic sustainability in the region by upgrading agricultural production and creating new jobs for the people in Karabakh

NEW YORK, New York – Since the adoption of Rebirth of Artsakh Regional Development Program as the next large-scale development initiative of Armenia Fund USA (the Fund) and the other 17 affiliates of Hayastan Himnadram at 2005 annual meeting, the Fund has taken the lead for the Agricultural Initiative for the overall development program. Putting together a world-class team of experts in this field, the Fund has moved ahead strategically and methodically in the planning. This has involved thorough consideration and assessment of the current needs at present of a region once knows as one of the Soviet Union’s premier ‘breadbaskets’ – but a region now suffering the ravages of war – Nagorno-Karabakh.

Not having the capacity to maintain agricultural equipment, Karabakh farmers rely on obsolete farming means

The Rebirth of Artsakh is a three-phase Regional Development Program aimed at providing large-scale infrastructure and economic development for Nagorno-Karabakh. The Program entails the building of educational and healthcare institutions, housing, drinking water projects, access roads and an agricultural initiative for three major regions in Nagorno-Karabakh starting with the Mardakert region. The Agricultural Initiative is the economic underpinning of the Rebirth of Artsakh and will be shared by Armenia Fund USA.

Since undertaking the agricultural component of the Rebirth of Artsakh Regional Development Program, Armenia Fund USA has moved diligently and speedily to effect the initial assessment, core planning and foundation for the implementation of the program. In July 2003, the Fund underwrote a field survey by an international expert-team from Turnaround Associates, Inc. – a corporate restructuring firm based in New York City. A group of six professionals, each an expert in the field of agriculture, traveled to Nagorno-Karabakh in order to assess the needs of the region’s subsistence farmers, thus setting the stage for a broad assistance program. The landmark report produced by these experts and titled Assessment of the Agricultural Resources of Nagorno-Karabakh was published in late August, 2003 and includes an array of proposals, resource assessment reports, as well as numerous agricultural and economic analysis papers. With the answers to the questions “what, why and how” now defined, the Fund lost no time in laying the foundation for this economic development project that is crucial in bringing sustainable economic growth to the region.

Based on their observations and collective experience, the experts, through their field studies and surveys, identified steps needed to increase agricultural production and upgrade agro activities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Agricultural Initiative will give the farmers the opportunity to pool their resources together and increase production through affordable mechanized farming and technical help to become self-sufficient, revitalize traditional exports (field crops, swine, cattle, etc.). Additionally, the program will encourage microfinance and small-scale investment in the region in an effort to provide jobs and help establish family businesses providing incentives to reverse current emigration from rural Karabakh.

Why agriculture and why Nagorno-Karabakh?

Before its independence, the Nagorno-Karabakh region was one of the major suppliers of wheat in the former Soviet Union. With its favorable climate and rich natural resources, the region is ripe for agricultural development. However, Nagorno-Karabakh and its economy suffered greatly during the war over the disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan: the lack of rural manpower and the funds to buy the necessary equipment, has measurably affected the standard of living with more than 50% of people living below the poverty line. More than this, studies show that currently more than 90% of milk, 100% of butter and even 90% of fruits are imported into Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus, the need is clear: with an agricultural import/export ratio that is potentially devastating to the region’s economy, the need for the Agricultural Initiative is critically urgent.

With the support of its donors and friends, Armenia Fund USA will offer the help Karabakh farmers need in order to help themselves. The Agricultural Initiative is a meticulously planned strategy to promote development in the region by revitalizing the agricultural economy and specifically targeting poverty reduction.


ABOUT ARMENIA FUND USA: ARMENIA FUND USA, founded in 1992, was the first of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s 18 international affiliates and serves constituents in all states east of the Mississippi. As a non-profit, non-governmental, nonsectarian organization, the Fund represents all Armenian constituents.

Armenia Fund USA is the largest contributor among the 18 international affiliates – supporting strategic infrastructure projects in Armenia and Karabakh, and having helped build 138 miles of roads, 100 miles of waterways, 36 schools, 3 electric transmission networks, 210 residential buildings and 15 healthcare institutions.

Armenia Fund USA’s Mission is the development of strategic socio-economic infrastructure in Armenia and Karabakh, focusing on major projects such as major highways, schools, drinking water to communities and humanitarian programs in education, training and medical facilities. The Fund has adopted a policy to go “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” to provide sustainability for projects it sponsors.

To learn more about Armenia Fund USA, please visit our website at or call us at 212-689-5307.

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