Topic: Study of the possibilities of establishing intensive gardens in Geghamasar border community of Gegharkunik marz
Students: Arman Avetyan, Faculty of Agrarian Engineering, Department of Soil and Water Engineering; Liana Ivanyan, Faculty of Agrarian Engineering, Department of Precision Farming
The AGRI CAMP Program grantees Arman Avetyan and Liana Ivanyan currently are studying the opportunities and prospects of introducing intensive agriculture in the border communities of Armenia to get a typical example. The developed projects will improve the socio-economic situation of the communities.
Why did you decide to choose this research topic?
Arman – The idea of the research came to me when I started conducting scientific research in the field of drip irrigation at ANAU along with participation in the ICARE Foundation’s “Intensive Garden Planting and Management” course. While studying the problems of Lake Sevan, I desired to improve the socio-economic situation of the neighboring border communities. The lecturers of the Chair of Water Resources Management of ANAU helped me to formulate the topic.
Liana – When Arman told me about his idea, I got very interested. Arman was so inspired that I immediately agreed when he offered to join the research. I am graduating from the Precision Farming Master Program this year and I am already working at the RA MTA Water Committee, where we consider the application of modern irrigation methods and their prospects in our Republic. So I’m really very interested in that topic.
How did your initial assumptions change during the process of research?
Liana – During the research we realized that the work we are doing is much more extensive than we could imagine. There is still a lot of work to be done to get comprehensive and practical results. But step by step we approach our dream. Our Supervisor, Professor Gurgen Yeghiazaryan, PhD and the teaching staff of the Chair of Water Resources Management of ANAU helpe us a lot. I think that after the end of this research, we must continue working on this topic.
Arman – During the study we realized that the research alone is not enough to implement our idea, and that it needs systemic and conceptual changes. We will definitely try to make those changes in future. The most important thing is that we are more and more convinced that we are on the right track.
What new experiences have you obtained through participation in the AGRI CAMP Program?
Liana – In order to conduct the research, we had an opportunity to get acquainted with the problems of border communities, to try to identify their causes, to find ways to overcome existing challenges with innovative agricultural solutions, and to establish business contacts with various stakeholders.
Arman – This research allowed us to put into practice the knowledge gained at ANAU. Thanks to the support of the AGRI CAMP Program, we were able to receive a large amount of information from various departments, carry out laboratory research, work with practical programs. All this will allow us to develop a more comprehensive project in the nearest future to provide a systematic solution to our idea.
How does the scientific environment contribute to the research process?
Liana – We enjoy the boundless kindness and care of the faculty of the Chair of Water Resources Management at ANAU, led by our Supervisor. We could use water meters of the department’s laboratories, which allowed us to make important measurements needed for our calculations. The staff of the chair helped us to apply the methodologies learned at the ANAU․ Professor Yeghiazaryan and the leadership of ANAU helped us to receive support from the RA Cadastre Committee, the RA Water Committee and the RA Hydrometeorological and Monitoring Center. With the AGRI CAMP Program grant we could delegate certain laboratory tests to the SNCO of the RA Hydrometeorological and Monitoring Cente.
Arman. – Thanks to Professor Yeghiazaryan our project received a serious theoretical and methodological basis. The advice and guidance of an experienced scientist allows us to easily overcome the emerging challenges, identify and improve the shortcomings. And we could not have done practical sampling, measurements and other important work without the support from the Chair of Water Resources Management and the teaching staff. Working in a scientific environment is very favorable for us․
How will the successful completion of the research affect your future professional career?
Liana։ Through the research, I have acquired important skills and knowledge that, I am sure, will help to fulfill my aspirations, because I really want to create efficient automated water resources management systems in my country, which will make possible irrigation of all rural lands in Armenia.
Arman: After completing this research, I would like to develop a strategy for the effective management of water resources in the Republic of Armenia, which will allow expanding irrigated crop rotations and improving the socio-economic situation, especially in border communities.
Supervisor: Professor Gurgen Yeghiazaryan, PhD, ANAU
Activities outlined under this objective of the USAID-funded AGRI CAMP Program tend to empower ANAU students’ engagement in Research and Development.