In the village of Bavra, in the northwestern province of Shirak, a newly established buckwheat mill aims to foster local production of buckwheat, which until now has been imported mainly from Russia. The mill also provides employment opportunities for residents of surrounding villages.
In the village of Vardenik, in Gegharkunik province, a social entrepreneurship initiative known as "Goods of the Mountains" gives locals the opportunity to grow crops other than the potatoes and cabbage common in the region. The program also aims to curb outmigration from the villages, a significant problem in Armenia.
The support for the initiatives comes from the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development. This year, the EU has funded 10 projects in seven of Armenia’s provinces, and some of the projects focus on production of goods that are in demand in the local market.