The ASPIRED project aimed at using water from fish farms for irrigation purposes in Hayanist community in 2017 has already shown results.
Nver Poghosyan, Hayanist community member, uses the recycled water from the fish farm to cultivate a 1.4 hectares of land. He has recently moved to this community because of the irrigation water available due to the program.
"I have learned that there is water here and I have moved here. If it wasn’t for the water, I would not come. Before living in Getashen, I had been cultivating land in Echmiadzin. I have been farming since I was 10," says Nver.
Hayanist is the first village, where irrigation of the community land is being carried out using the recycled water from the nearby fishery. Particularly, a new pumping station was built on the water outlet of the fish farm to solve the irrigation problem, a new irrigation system was installed, and the landowners were consulted on sustainable agriculture.
Nver has sown corn, melon, watermelons, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, okra and now is waiting for the harvestings season. Watermelon is first in line:
“3 tonnes of watermelon will be harvested from 1000 meter, in total 4000 meters of land is allocated for it. Melon will grow soon, also corn, tomatoes, and okra will ripe in a few weeks.
US Agency for International Development, Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Armenia and UNDP’s Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program joined their efforts to reconstruct Hayanist community’s irrigation system, rehabilitating more than 40 hectares of agricultural land that were left idle for more than 20 years.
Nver shows the cultivated land and mentions: "The harvest isn’t bad, it only needs fertilizer, which I have already given. However, the soil here is not as good, as they haven’t been cultivated for a long period and they still lack nutrition."
Nver is confident that if the land is cultivated for several years, the harvest will increase. He says he likes to work with the land, but his main concern is to make money for living from it.
"If I did not like it, I would not get engaged in this, but I'm working to earn income."
When he earns enough money from this year's harvest, Nver will continue to cultivate the land; he even plans to expand the cultivated lands.