Good morning, and thank you for joining us for this ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thanks especially to Ara Hovsepyan, the CEO of MCA-Armenia, and Sergey Meloyan, who has led the water-to-market activity, for the outstanding work you have done on this project.
I have had a busy and very interesting – week so far. Yesterday I visited several villages where farmers told me about how the program had changed their lives. Later today, I plan to visit the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, followed by a trip to the Armenian Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the First World War.
It is clear that your country has a rich history and culture, and I have been touched by the kindness and hospitality of the Armenian people.
As you all know, we are nearing the end of Armenia’s 5-year compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation. I am visiting Armenia to see the progress that has been made in the last five years.
I am pleased to say that, based on the reports that I am getting and the projects that I have seen this week, I believe our work together has been a success.
Armenia’s growth depends in part on a strong agriculture sector. I have been in Armenia long enough now to know that you grow some of the best fruits and vegetables you will find anywhere in the world.
And we want you to grow even more.
So our work together has delivered high-value agriculture training to more than 33,000 farmers, and established more than 220 farmer-owned demonstration sites in Armenia.
The hundreds of kilometers of newly refurbished irrigation canals will also make agriculture more profitable. More than 45,000 farmers have been trained in water management techniques so that irrigated water can be used more efficiently.
Finally, we want to make sure you get a good price for your crops. Investments like this consolidation center will help you get a fair deal at the market. That means you will be better off, your community will be stronger, and Armenia will be one step closer to our shared goal of prosperity for all.
When MCC and Armenia began our work together, we were united by the common goal of opening the door to a new era of shared prosperity. Thanks to your hard work, we have made significant progress toward an Armenia that is as rich in opportunity as it is in culture and natural beauty.
Congratulations to you all on this accomplishment.
MCC looks forward to continuing our work together as we close out this compact.