Livelihoods in Armenia: Evaluation of new economic opportunities for small-scale farmers in Tavush and Vayots Dzor regions | Agriculture | Oxfam

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This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2013/14, selected for review under the livelihoods thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in April 2014 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the 'new economic opportunities for small scale farmers in Tavush and Vayots Dzor regions' project. The project was implemented in 19 agriculture-dependent villages in two regions of Armenia, Tavush and Vayots Dzor, by Oxfam GB in Armenia in conjunction with local partners Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, Work and Motherland NGO, Horizon Fund and Scientific Center of Vegetable
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  EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW SERIES ‘enhancing effectiveness through evidence-based learning’  EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW SERIES 2013/14: ARMENIA BOLIVIA COLOMBIA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGOENGLAND ETHIOPIA GEORGIA HAITI HONDURAS INDONESIA JORDAN LEBANON MALAWI MALI   NEPAL NIGER PAKISTAN RUSSIA RWANDA SCOTLAND VIETNAM ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE The project was implemented in 19 agriculture-dependent villages in two regions of Armenia, Tavush and Vayots Dzor, by Oxfam GB in Armenia in conjunction with local partners Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, Work and Motherland NGO, Horizon Fund and Scientic Center of Vegetable & Industrial Crops. The overarching objective of the project was to support smallholder farmers to secure sustainable livelihoods through increasing access to economic opportunities in agricultural value chains and increasing resilience to natural disasters related to climate change. Farmers’ cooperatives were established in the targeted communities. These cooperatives provided a platform through which most other project activities were implemented at community and household level. Eight villages, four each in Tavush and Vayots Dzor regions, were targeted in the rst year of the project with more added to implementation in subsequent years. The focus of the evaluation was on the impact of the project on participating households in these eight villages, in which implementation had started earliest. Improved livelihoods security for smallholder farmers in Tavush and Vayots Dzor regions of ArmeniaEstablish smallholder farmers’ cooperatives in intervention communitiesResearch state policy/regulations and private sector opportunities relating to agriculture, cooperatives, agro-tourism, micro-nance/ insurance and crop processingGovernment structures and policy responsive to needs of poor farmersFarmers able to:ã nance productive inputsã increase cultivated area ã access commercial loansFarmers have diversied income sources through links to new markets including agro-tourismFarmers able to:ã take advantage of favourable market conditionsã access supply chain at higher value levels Farmers benet from: ã Improved yield and quality of produceã Resilience to risks including climate changeProvide market price information to coop membersProvide subsidised loans and nance training to coop membersProvide/establish:ã cold storageã sun dryersã harvest festivalã links with national processorsNational-level policy advocacyProvide training and inputs for:ã productivity enhancing agricultural technologiesã high-value and climate-resilient cropsã improved farm managementDevelop agro-tourism through links with national agencies and local NGO New economic opportunities for small scale farmers in rural areas Project date: April 2010 - November 2012Evaluation: April 2014Publication: March 2015 Livelihoods  Armenia2013/14 This diagram presents how the project was expected to achieve change, through project activities and outcomes that were expected to contribute to the overall goal of the project.  Results Evaluation Method Full version of this report and more information can be found at Oxfam’s Policy and Practice website: www.oxfam.org.uk/effectiveness For more information, contact Oxfam’s Programme Quality Team - ppat@oxfam.org.uk The review sought to evaluate the project’s impact among the population of villages where the project was implemented. A ‘quasi-experimental’ evaluation design was used whereby data from interviews with households from villages where the project had been implemented and with households of neighbouring non-project villages were analysed using propensity-score matching and multivariate regression. See the ‘How are effectiveness reviews carried out?’ document for more information on evaluation design. Details about specic evaluation design used in this case are contained in the full report of the Effectiveness Review. Going forward  As a result of the evaluation, Oxfam in Armenia will review the approach undertaken for the introduction of non- traditional crops during the pilot project in the two regions of Vayots Dzor and Tavush. The promotion and cultivation of more marketable non-traditional products such as broccoli on a larger scale will also be reinforced. Small farmers’ cooperatives within the Oxfam in Armenia Livelihood Programme will continue to be strengthened by diversifying their agricultural business models, providing support to the development of different agricultural value chains in both Vayots Dzor and Tavush, introducing new technologies and practices to increase income, and providing appropriate capacity building training programmes. Between 2015 – 2017, Oxfam in Armenia will also continue to raise funds for new livelihoods projects in the Vayots Dzor region. Photo credit: Oxfam in Armenia   Commentary  Agricultural livelihoods activities and migration Project outcome There is no evidence suggesting less household migration or reliance on migrant labour; however, there is some evidence to suggest a greater likelihood of increased income from agricultural activities. Technological adoption andagricultural inputs There is evidence suggesting greater use of pesticides, sun-dryers, cold storage/collection centres and greenhouses in both regions. The project appears to have had a signicant impact on farmers’ use of inorganic fertilisers in Tavush region only and on use of improved seed/seedlings in Vayots Dzor region only. MixedYESMixed In Tavush region only, there is some evidence that there is a positive impact on the amount of land cultivated (measured both as a proportion of total land used and by area).  Agricultural production There is evidence for greater harvests of several individual fruit and non-fruit crop types in both regions. In particular in Tavush region there is evidence for a substantial (approximately 4-fold) increase in production of traditional vegetable crops. There is no evidence of a sustained increase in diversity of agricultural production (measured by number of crops) or sustained production of non-traditional vegetable crops. NOYESNO There is evidence suggesting greater yields of both fruit and non-fruit crops, and greater aggregate quantity of fruit harvests in Tavush region only. Sales and access to markets In Tavush region beneciary households are more likely to be selling agricultural products, sell a higher proportion of their produce and receive greater revenue from produce sales.  Access to nance There is some evidence suggesting that the project has had a small positive impact on perceived access to credit. There is evidence of a positive impact on access to credit from micronance organisations, particularly in Vayots Dzor. NONOYESTavushVayots Dzor MixedYESMixedYESYESNOYESYESYES Evidence of positive impact In Tavush region beneciary households were able to access credit at lower interest rates from both micronance organisations and commercial banks. Household income There is some evidence of positive impact of the project on household income. Beneciary households experienced greater increases in asset wealth over the period of the project. NOYESYESYES
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