Study tour to Poland
In the framework of IFAD funded Project “Promoting Inclusive Horticultural Value Chains in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Moldova” (PIHVC) a study tour was organized to Poland from the 2nd to the 7th of October 2017. It was hosted by agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture (ARMA/ARiMR) Poland. The members of Armenian delegation were 10 beneficiary cooperative/producer group leaders from 6 marzes of Armenia. They were accompanied by 2 representatives of Shen NGO. During the sessions at ARMA central office, Warsaw, Ms. Maria Fajger, President of ARMA, Ms. Malgorzata Sztoldman, director of Analysis and Reporting Department, Mr. Mariusz Ciereszko, Director of State Aid Department presented to the delegation the state aid instrumentss managed by ARMA. Officials of ARMA presented also support programs for agricultural producer organizations and investment projects in fruit and vegetable processing sector. In the course of the field visits practical work of Polish agricultural cooperatives were shown. Field visits were organized to the orchards of the producer group La-sad as well as the production, processing units and cold storages. The delegation members had an opportunity to see the production process, to get acquainted with new high-technological management of young orchards and and to identify new high productive varieties of apple and pear. Polish scheme of mutual-help collaboration among the producer group members was presented to the participants. Primavega producer group presented the modern methods of production, packaging and storing of broccoli, leeks and lettuces. The producer group representatives shared their experience and success story in the field of production and processing. Members of Armenian delegation were inspired by the collaborative work systems adopted by Primavega. Participants visited also dairy production company OSM Siedlce that collects milk from 600 members and markets the readymade processed dairy products. All visited producer groups emphasized the role and big input of ARMA/ARiMR in the development of their cooperative businesses. The Armenian delegation was delighted with the hospitality of ARMA and local companies. This study visit was a unique opportunity for them to see success stories of cooperative development in place. They are now very enthusiastic to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills of Polish producer groups in agricultural production and value chain development of Armenia.