Marmashen, Kaps, Amasia, Horom, Panik and Arevshat villages of Shirak region are the target of the media trip organized on 25 and 26 August by ICMPD in Armenia. For many years, Shirak region has been featured as the poorest region of Armenia in its economic indicators, according to the official statistical data. In 2016, the level of poverty was the highest in the country - 45.5%. The elder of Marmashen community, Karen Arshakyan, told the journalists that the migration level is also quite high and the process of community amalgamation significantly improved the economic situation in the communities. Since last year autumn Marmashen village also bеcame an amalgamated community joined by 15 other villages. It is early to discuss the results, said the community elder, however, we can state, that due to the consolidated budget of 15 villages more tasks can be solved – covering the roads with asphalt, implementing water-supply system and street lighting, etc.. Thanks to the availability of such infrastructure, economic life in the village will become more active and the quality of the roads will make possible the export of the local agricultural products to Gyumri city market. This opinion is shared by the majority of the community elders.
As an example of successful projects, Amasia community presented new factory on wool processing which is to be opened within the EU project totaling to 1 million Euro budget. The repair works of the workshops have already started and it is planned to employ several dozens of people, which will bring Amasia with its highest unemployment rate throughout Armenia to quite a substantial improvement in terms of employability of population. Such an opportunity will make many villagers of nearby communities engage in sheep breeding since they will have a selling market. The sheep breeding sector is quite a profitable business for Shirak region. If infrastructure is created and food resources are improved, big farms will appear and small house farms will be developed, which will contribute to the rise of small cattle number and animal breeding is the main type of activity of the local population.
This was the second media trip of the media project implemented by ICMPD in Armenia within the framework of MIBMA project.