How to run a smart agriculture in the face of climate change, what kind of steps are being taken by the public sector to regulate this sector. Nune Sarukhanyan, President of “Green Path” NGO, shared her work and experience during "Food Security and Climate Change" expert roundtable held on April 13, 2021 at EcoLur Press Club.
She noted that climate change and natural disasters sometimes have an irreversible impact on the agricultural sector, but some steps can be taken in that direction. In particular, the speaker stressed that in order to mitigate the effects of natural disasters and climate change, farmers should be offered to grow other plants, other varieties, early-ripening and mid-ripening species. She noted that in the case of more rational farming, it is possible to achieve the desired results. For this purpose, "Green Path" NGO plans to establish training centers for smart agriculture in different regions of Armenia.
The first such center was established five years ago in Dzoraghbyur. Nune Sarukhanyan noted that today the farmers cooperating with their programs are able to easily overcome the problems caused by climate change and disasters.
"In the first center, we chose degraded soil in an extremely poor condition, where there was no irrigation water, the pH of the soil was 8.7 and it was quite windy. We tried to show the farmers that even under such conditions it is possible to cultivate the land properly and get quite large incomes. We cultivate a hundred types of crops in our first center. Farmers, specialists and consultants come here and learn the process of preventing soil degradation," she said.
Nune Sarukhanyan mentioned that in order to change the quality of hard water, the rainwater collected on the adjacent areas and buildings is accumulated, trying to make the hard water softer and more complete for the plants. "We show from our experience that we have made lands with a pH of 8.7 mass neutral. There is no bad soil. There is good or bad work on the ground. If these lands are fertilized with different organic matters, and the farmers themselves prepare the biohumus, they can successfully grow different crops," she said.
According to Nune Sarukhanyan, in addition to the training modules, many training guides and booklets on agriculture have been prepared for farmers in the training centers they create.
According to the speaker, about 5,000 farmers, students and professionals participated in their programs from Armenia and abroad in 2019 to get acquainted with Armenia's biodiversity and agro-diversity.
Touching upon the losses in the field of biodiversity, Nune Sarukhanyan mentioned that during the last 25 years about 85 species have been added to the Red Book of Armenia, most of which are wild edible plants.
“Green Path” Training Center is currently breeding endangered plants and trying to make them a source of income for farmers. "Today, many of our farmers cultivate wild edible plants instead of traditional greens in their neighborhoods, and their income is 3-4 times higher than the income of ordinary traditional plants. In this way, we encourage farmers to make the environment a source of income," Nune Sarukhanyan said.
Photo Credit: Mediamax
May 05, 2021 at 10:12