Armenia Marketing Assistance Project, 1992-2004
Starting in the early 1990s, the International Programs office of NIFA worked in partnership with the Armenian agricultural sector for more than a decade. In the early years, the project focused on the development of an applied research and extension capacity, helping to ease the transition to a free market economy.
The focus of the Marketing Assistance Project (MAP), begun in 1996, was to assist Armenian farmers and agribusinesses in producing, marketing, and exporting food and related products with the goal of increasing incomes, creating jobs, and raising the standard of living.
In 2000, International Programs facilitated the establishment of the Agribusiness Teaching Center through a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M University and the Armenia Agricultural Academy in Yerevan. The ongoing agribusiness degree program provides Armenia 's future agricultural producers and entrepreneurs with competitive skills in international marketing, finance, management, computers, and language.
The Marketing Assistance Project provided a “package” of technical, financial, and marketing assistance to agribusinesses, farmer marketing associations, and cooperatives. The long-term relationships that were established with Armenian clients in the agro-processing sector were one of the distinguishing features that led to project success. By 2002, the nearly 60 MAP client groups represented a wide array of dairy, fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry, wine, and beverage producers and processors.
Management oversight of the Armenia program was transferred in 2005 to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).