Tufenkian Foundation to Distribute Over 150 Tons of Seeds for essential crops to Villagers in Artsakh

STEPANAKERT, Artsakh – The Tufenkian Foundation subsidized the distribution of 154 tons of seeds for essential crops so that they can be distributed free of charge to all of Artsakh’s villagers, per an agreement signed with the Artsakh Agriculture Ministry’s Village and Agriculture Support Foundation (VASF). This effort is part of a wider plan that Tufenkian and the Agriculture Ministry are jointly undertaking to help Artsakh become more self-sufficient.

The seeds were imported prior to the illegal establishment of a checkpoint at the entrance to the corridor between Armenia and Artsakh in late April by the Azeri regime.  Working in coordination with the VASF, seeds for buckwheat, peas, lentils, and flax are being distributed free of charge to villagers throughout Artsakh with less than 1.5 hectares of land.  Seeds for alfalfa and sainfoin, which are plants used for animal fodder, are also being distributed for free.

“This is a very important step by the Tufenkian Foundation to help alleviate the challenges we are facing in agriculture,” stated VASF Executive Director Valery Ghazaryan.  “Of course, this is not the first time Tufenkian has come up with such programs in Artsakh.  They also have contributed to the development of socio-economic, educational, cultural and other programs,” he continued.

The need to increase Artsakh’s food production capacity has been heightened by the ongoing blockade by Azerbaijan of the only road connecting Artsakh to the outside world.  The blockade has been underway for more than five months, causing severe shortages of food, medicine, fuel, and other essential items.  Because of the fuel shortage the Agriculture Ministry, together with the Askeran, Martakert, and Martuni regional administrations and local village authorities, have had to distribute the seeds to the villagers.

“Amidst the ongoing crisis, we will continue to work in partnership with Artsakh’s government and villagers to help ensure much-needed food security,” stated Greg Bedian, Tufenkian’s Director of Operations. “We are proud to have generous supporters whose unwavering commitment to Artsakh help make impactful programs such as these possible,” he concluded.

Earlier in April, the Tufenkian Foundation provided 90 tons of seed potatoes to villagers in the Martuni region of Artsakh in partnership with the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Armenian Tree Project.   The Tufenkian Foundation is continuing its work with the Artsakh Agriculture Ministry to develop other initiatives to enhance Artsakh’s food security and self-sufficiency.

“It is essential that we all stand with the people of Artsakh at this critical time and provide them with the assistance they need to withstand the many serious challenges placed before them,” stated Bedian. “As important as our material assistance may be, the moral support and encouragement provided by these efforts are of equal importance,” he concluded.

Established in 1999, the Tufenkian Foundation addresses the most pressing social, economic, cultural, and environmental challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh). Since its inception, the Tufenkian Foundation has supported various community initiatives as well as civic activism and public advocacy campaigns to help improve life in Armenia, while providing housing, education, social, health, and livelihood support for the Armenians of Artsakh.

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