FAO in Armenia

FAO’s regional project explores transformative approaches to agri-food systems in Europe and Central Asia


May 8, 2024, Yerevan – Arman Khojoyan, Deputy Minister of Economy of RA and Francoise Jacob, UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia opened the FAO’s workshop which is promoting policy priorities to strengthen the agrifood systems in Armenia.

Armenia, as one of the focus countries of regional FAO project will benefit from cross-sectoral dialogues to define key policy areas to transform the agri-food system in Armenia. The event brought together stakeholders from different sectors that play critical role in food systems, including relevant ministries, and government representatives, UN agencies in Armenia.

Mr. Khojoyan noted that “the transformation of effective, inclusive, resilient, stable agri-food systems can lead to a balanced growth. This approach is both necessary and difficult, as capacity and skills to analyze and apply country-level issues must be strengthened and the gap between knowledge and capacities that seriously impedes progress needs to be bridged.” He further emphasized the importance of fruitful cooperation between the Government of Armenia and the United Nations.

“The food system is the most affected sector by Climate Change: currently 50% of biodiversity loss is due to agricultural activities, on average 20-30% of food is wasted,” said Ms. Jacob. Interministerial coordination bringing economy, health, education, environment and other key sectors together within the country is very important to overcome and work on the issues facing the food system. “Transformation of food systems requires a lot of knowledge – farmers and consumers need more knowledge on this topic, and we need to raise awareness, produce more knowledge to achieve noticeable results,” said Ms. Jacob. 

The workshop emphazised that a holistic approach was needed to transform the agrifood system in Armenia increasing its competitiveness, environmental sustainability and supporting the elimination of rural poverty and therefore providing a key contribution in achieving the Sustainable development goals. Strategic importance needs to be given to “greater policy coherence, better understanding of the benefits but also the costs of the approach” said Mary Kenny, from FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, and Lead Technical Officer for the project.  

The workshop concluded stressing that more data in the different areas of the food system – production, processing, trade, consumption, environment was needed to identify the bottlenecks of the system and to address them with the respective policies.