Rediscovered armenia concept paper


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Rediscovered armenia concept paper

  1. 1. “REDISCOVERED ARMENIA” CONCEPT PAPER (to Support the Development of Rural Armenia)15 March - 10 April 2009Rome- Italy and Paris- FrancePrefaceThe idea created and concept paper drafted by Dr. Armen Mehrabyan, PhD Food Technology andMaster of Ethno-Botany and shared for comments and notes to the group of professional, ArmenianDiaspora who are appreciate and underline feasibility and actuality by reply.Special thanks to all professionals who provide valuable comments and recommendations andexpress their readiness to support on materialization of this concept. Great appreciation to Mr.Zohrab Malek, Ambassador of Armenia in FAO and IFAD - Rome; Mr. Sasun Sugy – President ofG2i Association- Frnace; Ms.Karine Arabian – Fashion Designer, President of Arabian Co - France,Paris; Mr. Alen Alexanian – Fine Food Chef, President of Alexanian Consulting, Chef ofAlexandrin restaurant, France – Lion; Mr. Mark Beghian – international expert of agriculture andfood safety, Italy- Milan; Ms. Ahgel Kara – fashion bijou designer and President of Angel Kara Co,France - Paris; Ms. Catherina Botero – UN FAO expert on agronomic culture, Italy-Rome; Ms.Marta Bruno – UN FAO expert on Rural Agriculture Development, Italy-Rome; Mr. Armen ter-Tachatian – President of Low consulting Co, Armenia; Mr. Gagik Yegiazarian – President ofKPartners Consulting, Armenia; Ms. Jaqueline Karasalian - Professor of MIT, President ofAREVIK NGO, USA - Boston; Ms. Ana Sortun – James Bred Foundation awarded best chef onMediterranian cuisine, USA - Cambridg; Ms. Karoline Mugar – President of FarmAid, USA -Cambridge; Dr. Aram Hajian – Vice-President of Armenain American University, Armenia -Yerevan; Dr. Rafi Semirjian – President of CSP Middle East, Lebanon - Beirut; etc.An IntroductionFrom where the idea of «Rediscovered Armenian» are came from?Armenian culture dates back to the sunup of civilization and scraps exist in a continuous12000 years old record. The artistic genius engendered by Armenian civilization, the superbcondition of many rock-crafted petrography and cave-paintings, with support of the dryclimate, archeological findings and ethnographic research, have made possible to reconstructa majority part of the history of culture, social and economic achievements of the people livedin prehistoric and medieval land called Nohas earth. By demonstrating developed culture ofwild harvesting and hunting, agricultural and horticulture, hand crafting and carpentry, artand science Armenia is shown to be one of the sources of the high developed science, cultureand technology of the world that started civilization from the fertile crepes.The preliminary sources of records gave us strong references about unique and productiveagriculture system and science nearby Tavros Mountain in Asia. And particularly from 7000 to3000 BCE Hittite and Urartian (Pre-Armenian), Schumer and Acadian, Egyptian and Persian,Nubian and Ethiopian, Libyan and Narts populations fusing with immigrants formed a people,
  2. 2. created the history of Mesopotamia. These mingled peoples of Asia Minor are established a highlyadvanced science, agricultural technology and formed a food system in Mesopotamia.This tradition of gathering and cultural exchange that were passed from generation to generationand reached us trough cryptographs, manuscripts, archeological and ethnographic researchdemonstrate just a small part of antique culture that modern Armenia were able to hang about.Why do we need to maintain the rehabilitated ancient Armenian science, culture, technology andagronomy?To explain the unknown the Armenians created a complex and bewildering theology that drew onthe sun and the sky, the four elements and man, as well as every form of life, that was included apantheon of human gods and goddesses in pagan time. Their beliefs greatly influenced the ancientworld and have been incorporated into many ancient religions such as Zoraostriszm and Manuizm.A study of Armenian history underscores the ancient origins of agriculture that influenced to thescience and art. The modern world is in debt to this great civilization which contributed many ofour basic agricultural innovations: cultivation and irrigation technology and the horticultural arts.Ancient Armenian agriculture is also shown to be the Mother of Science providing the resources toenable the construction of vast public works and temples and the basic inspiration to progress frommathematics to chemistry and from medicine to metallurgy. Despite advances in technology,Armenian culture became ever increasingly conservative and traditional, so that continued advanceswere thwarted. Progress was hampered by the restraints of a rigid society first run by an uneasyalliance between nobles and priests, and when racked by internal instability, deteriorating to astagnant theocracy. The decline was evident about 525 BCE and Armenia succumbed to pressuresfrom invading cultures: Persian, the armies of Alexander, Roman legions, and the proselytizingdesert warriors from Arabia who introduced a new religion and eliminated the old. After the 12thcentury, Armenia was controlled by the Ottoman Turks and later in the beginning of 19th century,influenced by the colonial power of Russia. It is hoped that an independent Armenia will be spurredon by the archeological evidence that dominates the landscape and is continually uncovered. Theseancient relics, ignored for thousands of years, should be an inspiration to restore the glory ininnovation, art, and agriculture that was the hallmark of ancient Armenia.This remarkable experience of the ancient science and agricultural practices of our grandfathers thatcreated a renaissance in the culture of food in the Land of Noah, and passed from generation togeneration, neglect today and hided from our day to day culture.Unfortunately this tradition of art, science, agriculture and balance food dining are injured bymodern “civilization”, materialistic science and mechanization. Especially, Soviet system destroysthose and even memory of harmonic development and balances agriculture were unfurnished. Afterthe collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia was left without an infrastructure and managementsystem.How it can support the rural Armenia community development?Many people, because of the circumstances, learned farming practices from their elders who stillremembered the methods of the pre-Soviet era. Today tradition of art, culture, fine dining andagriculture is alive because of the ethnic knowledge were passed from generation to generation andrural people return to tradition.With the help from outside interests and Armenians willing to preserve traditions, Armenians arefinding a balance of ancient and modern techniques to ensure fine art, culture, technology,agriculture production and rehabilitation of the food culture as a part of social gathering and fin
  3. 3. dining. It is possible that with the return of a vital economy, the reality of a true cultural renaissancewill be realized and majestic art and food culture will be rehabilitated.Independent Armenia with its 29,000 area is a small country in compare with the GreaterArmenia in ancient, which was sprout from Black Sea to Mediterranean and Caspian Sea andcovers more then 700,000 But the geographical location of today Armenia with its multi-elevation ecology, divers climatic zones, biodiversity and natural conditions, unique location andweather, really major contributors to the delicious fruits, vegetables, cereals and derivate grapes andgrains that found within its borders.Today as never before is the right moment to promote the rehabilitated pre-historical and ancientArmenian culture and science in a modern way by underlining the importance for rural areasdevelopment as a main source keeper of the elements of that ancient culture.Research, References and Sources of InformationKnowledge of the history of ancient Armenian science and art, agriculture and carpentry can begleaned from the archeological record supported by surviving written Armenian, Assyrian,Sumerian and Egyptian documents, temple inscriptions, the books of Genesis and Exodus in theHebrew bible, as well as commentaries from antiquity including those of the Greek historianHerodotus (484-425 BCE), Strabon, Xsenophon, Sophocles, Apuleos, the philosopher Theophrastus(372-288 BCE), etc.Field visits to farms in the Aragatsotn, Ararat, Vayots Dzor, Lori, Syunik, Armavir and Kotayjregions, assessments, research and discussions with farmers, have helped to bring a reality to thefishable concept that will help rural Armenia development and make possible to enjoyRediscovered Armenia in coming future.What is the Main Aim of this concept?The main objective of this concept is to support to rehabilitate ancient Armenian culture andrepresent it as a part of the world by showing its precious role and influence to the development ofscience, technology, art and agriculture of ancient civilization and do not aloof or detached it fromthe world culture.The General Objective of this Concept is to establish the good coordination, management andmonitoring mechanism for implementation of complementary projects under one umbrellathat will strengthening the local capacity and by straight-line activities will support social,economic, cultural and institutional development on a technically eligible, financiallysustainable and environmentally friendly manner.  Social - means to support (i) most vulnerable groups of villagers and families from the community identified and supported by local authorities, shall benefit of proposed initiatives; (ii) initiative shall contribute to reduction of poverty; (iii) proposed initiative shall not create any social tensions and/or conflicts in the community  Economic support – means that developed proposal must be economically feasible and will provide income generation and sustainable local development  Institutional – means that group of beneficiaries, initiative implementers (cultural, carpenters and agricultural) shall have a local institutional status, and demonstrate capacity to manage and implement proposed project initiative
  4. 4. Above mentioned supports must be:a) Technically eligible – means that (i) proposed initiative shall be identified through transparentcommunity mobilization and local development planning processes; (ii) project proposal shall beaccepted and approved by local public administration in partnership with elected ProjectCommittee; and (iii) only technically feasible, executable by local people, initiatives will beaccepted to appraisal and implementation processesb) Financially sustainable – means that proposal must show cost recovery, and ensure capacity tofinance recurrent cost, operational and financial self-sufficiency, should be economically,institutionally, environmentally sustainable and shall demonstrate resilience to such exogenousfactors unstable security in the project area , price variability and market accessc) Environmentally friendly – means that proposed initiative should not have any negative impacton the environmentSpecific Objective of the concept is to support rural development, community agriculture andethnic food and art culture by realizing the following 4 project proposal under one umbrellaproject that are complement each other: 1. Rural Agriculture development – a long growing season for many fruits and vegetables and the variety, especially of fruits, with a potential for export gives Armenia the future possibility of becoming a specialty agro-product exporter. As an example of a “slow food country”, Armenia has a future in exporting fine products in limited quantities at high prices, taking its place alongside the finest food producers in the world. The main objective of rural agriculture development is: i) to support the identification and implementation of demand-driven agricultural production and post-harvest projects by producer groups: adding value to village level production and diversifying rural activities and employment opportunities and facilitating market access and ii) increasing levels of understanding of opportunities to respond to climate change and reduce the level of risk associated with extreme and changing weather conditions by the development of specific regional and community programmes that focus upon appropriate and good practices. 2. Food Culture development – agricultural traditions have given Armenia an excellent food culture of freshness and good taste. The small size of the country allows the housewife in Yerevan the luxury of buying fruits and vegetables picked in the morning and available in the markets that day. Promotion of forgotten fine dining and food culture trough publication of ethnographic researches related to the food culture, organization of ethnic Armenian dinners - will include recipes and commentary that will celebrate the importance of the two sides of Armenian agribusiness, the old traditional methods that help to create the high quality and the new techniques and ideas that support the old and celebrate the new. Those initiatives will endeavor to bring the world’s attention to the positive future of Armenian agriculture. 3. Jewelry, Carpentry and Handcrafts development – means support to development modern technology of production and marketing of rehabilitated ethnic carpentry, jewelry and handcrafts by involvement of world wide famous fashion designer, technical professionals from Armenian Diaspora and strengthening the capacity of local management knowledge and marketing skills that will make possible to open new job places in rural areas for materialization of project. 4. Perfume, Cosmetic and Aromatery - “ O’Dor and Aroma d’Armenie” project initiative objective is to support bringing into the world market rehabilitated Armenian unique perfume and cosmetic products by using the current positioning of famous Armenian
  5. 5. perfume makers. For example such kind of products as Vanay Grease – body oil of Queen Sarah, Armenian lubricate – sacred oil from Armenian wild “shusma” squash for princess Tsovinar, Gooma Armeniaca – incense body cream from armeniaca vulgaris gum decoction, Royal Smear - royal body massage oil form acacia, Armenian paper – fumigation aromatery, Aqua D’Sevan – toilet water with fresh with pirus natural stones, Aroma d’Armenie – perfume from Benzoin with Thuja with natural Obsidian stone, Oilo Tigran the Great – specialty oil made for Armenian King of Kings Tigran the Great for foot relaxing can be developed, experimented and marketed under the patronage of Mr. Frencisk Kurkjian. Project ProfilesThe Project Profiles annual budget for first year pilots: 1. Rural Agriculture development ( full package includes 3 project for 2 years with the budget cost of 498,000 USD) and pilot project budget is following: – budget 52,442 USD – communities 2 villages in Lori and 1 villages in Arrogation region – direct beneficiaries 45 small scale farmers – indirect beneficiaries 500 farmers from 3 communities of 2 district 2. Food Culture development – Budget 38,500 USD – direct beneficiaries Armenian Culinary Federation – indirect beneficiaries 10 restaurants and food service accounts 3. Carpentry, Jewelry and Handcrafts development (with expected support and promotion of famous fashion designer Kaarine Arabian) – budget 25,000 USD – direct beneficiaries 1 jeweler in rural area of Armavir and 1 carpenter from Lori region – indirect beneficiaries about 5 professional jewelry shop in Yerevan 4. Perfume, Cosmetic and Aromatery - “ O’Dor and Aroma d’Armenie” (with expected support and promotion of famous perfume maker Francisk Kurkjian) – budget 25,500 USD – direct beneficiaries 1 scientist and 2 interns from the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography on NAS, 1 scientist and 1 intern from Matenadaran and 2 scientist and 1 intern from the Institute of Microbiology and Armenian Agriculture Academy – indirect beneficiaries about 200 students from Yerevan State University and Armenian Agriculture AcademyAverage duration of pilot projects: 1 yearAverage budget for GOE: 25, 000 USDAverage budget for ProjectManagement and monitoring: 35, 000 USDTOTAL BUDGET OF CONCEPT PILOT PROJECTS is about: 194,000 USD