New Irrigation System for Sayat-Nova Community
On October 22, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Fund for Armenian Relief and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia marked successful ...
New Irrigation System for Sayat-Nova Community
On October 22, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Fund for Armenian Relief and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia marked successful completion of the joint irrigation project in Sayat-Nova village. The USAID Mission Director Deborah Grieser, the Governor of Ararat marz, Garik Sargsyan, the Minister of Nature Protection, Erik Grigoryan and other guests joined the members of Sayat-Nova community for the celebration event.
 
The shortage of water has been a growing problem for the Ararat Valley over the last years. Due to overexploitation of the Ararat Valley’s groundwater resources, more than 30 communities of the region have been reportedly left without access to reliable drinking and irrigation water supply. Lack of irrigation water hurts farmers, negatively affecting the socio-economic situation of the rural communities and leading to migration of the rural population from villages. 
 
Sayat-Nova community will reuse the outlet water of Masis Dzuk fishery for its irrigation needs. The project assisted the community in establishing a public-private partnership with the fish farm to support the more responsible use of the groundwater resource of the Ararat Valley. The project built a new pumping station at the water discharge point of the fishery, installed a new more durable pipe network and provided community training on sustainable farming practices. The water quality analysis proved that the outlet water from the fish-farm can be safely used for the production of crops.  
 
The pumping station was launched by the USAID’s Mission Director Deborah Grieser and the Governor Garik Sargsyan, after which the guests walked through the fields to see the new irrigation system in use and meet with the land owners. 
“Water scarcity has a huge negative impact on the food production in the region. Sayat-Nova is the second community where the USAID, with help of its partners, implemented a project on the secondary use of the fish-farm water.  This project provides an alternative environmentally sustainable solution to the issue of the irrigation water shortage in the Ararat Valley and can be effectively replicated by other communities of the region.“ the Mission Director Deborah Grieser noted in her welcoming remarks.
 
The new system will return 60 hectares of land to cultivation, with possible coverage for up to 190 hectares. At the moment, 252 people will benefit from an opportunity to irrigate their farmlands which have been left idle for the last 15 years. With the new irrigation system in place, the mayor of the village, Razmik Alaverdyan, is committed to find resources to extend the network to other land plots.