MARTUNI, ARTSAKH (Tufenkian Foundation)—The Tufenkian Foundation launched its household economic development program on April 27, through which nine families in Martuni’s villages were given much-needed sheep herds.
The families in Martuni’s Tsovategh, Kherkhan, and Machkalashen villages lost some or all their sheep as a result of the 2020 War. To assist these families, 10 pregnant ewes were provided to each family to help re-establish or expand their herds.
“Not only do we have to ensure that the population that has returned to Artsakh remains in Artsakh, but we must also create conditions that will attract the displaced Artsakhtsis so that they, too, will want to return and resettle,” said Tufenkian Foundation director Greg Bedian. “A key element of this strategy is economic development,” Bedian added.
To help drive this development, the Tufenkian Foundation’s 2022 program includes an important investment in strengthening village economies. The mutton distribution is the first in a number of deliveries the Foundation will be completing in the region throughout the spring and summer months. Future distributions include donations of pigs, chickens, and bees.
Through these efforts, by the end of 2022, most of the existing villagers should be poised to move beyond subsistence farming and have varied income streams which will enable them to invest in expanding their current operations or in moving into new areas of economic activity.
“These sheep will have approximately 10-12 lambs each year. When their lambs reach about 30 kg in weight, they can be sold for butchering,” explained Tufenkian’s Artsakh project manager Edgar Danielyan. “This way, program participants will receive a boost to their household income by rebuilding their flocks and can gradually increase their income as their flocks continue to grow. This program will help these families become more prosperous, secure, and self-sufficient, enabling them to remain on their ancestral lands,” Danielyan added.