Abundant Harvest of Grain in Meghrashen
In 2020, "Shen" NGO, with the support of UMCOR Armenia Foundation, launched the "Assisting the Rural Community Development in Meghrashen" project in Shirak marz. Thanks to the multi-component project, it was possible to repair and furnish the gym of the Meghrashen school. During the project, the "Shen" expert agronomists, agribusiness, and cooperative specialists conducted professional training courses for the villagers.
The people of Meghrashen founded a cooperative
In 2021, the active residents of Meghrashen formed and founded the "Meghrashen" agricultural consumer cooperative. At the general meeting, the members set 50,000 drams as a membership fee for the cooperative members. The cooperative has seven members, and three of them are women. The main direction of activity is grain filtering and disinfection. "Shen" provided the cooperative with the necessary equipment for the operation of the filtering station: a filter, a disinfectant, and a mill that will work all year round. The cooperative's contribution to the program was also significant. In particular, with the building materials provided by Shen and partly with the building materials purchased by the cooperative, the cooperative's office was renovated and furnished, and the workshop of the refinery station was built with the efforts of the members.
The members of the cooperative filter and disinfect their grain at the station. The members will use the filtered seed for sowing in their lands and partly for sale. Before the establishment of the refining station, the grain was refined and disinfected by hand. Because of this, the seed quality was deficient, and the farmers had to sow more seeds than average per 1 ha.
Through challenges to success
Due to the widespread drought of the last agricultural year, the grain harvest in Meghrashen was either very scarce or non-existent, so the operation of the refining station was not possible. Already this year, the people of Meghrashen are satisfied with the harvest, and the cooperative members are satisfied with the heavy work of the refining station. In the cooperative this year so far, they have filtered and disinfected the grain of several farmers who are not members of the cooperative. However, there are many agreements regarding the services to be provided in the nearest future.
Thanks to the cooperative's activities, jobs were created. About ten employees are involved in the station's work, and only four are cooperative members. And the important achievement, according to the members, is that thanks to the cooperative, they are not only able to filter and disinfect their grain for free but also to provide service to farmers who are not members.