New aquaculture system in Armenia reduces groundwater consumption

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By Milthon Lujan

Armenia.- A model fish-production farm that uses new, water-saving production methods is being inaugurated today in Sayat-Nova, in Armenia’s Ararat province. The new installation was made possible by an FAO project and a public private-partnership.

Groundwater levels in the Ararat Valley have been falling in recent years due to overutilization – by aquaculture and other sectors. At the request of the Government of Armenia, FAO developed an efficient solution for maintaining fish production while significantly reducing water use.

The new facility, based on the FAO system and built under FAO’s technical supervision, was officially opened today with a ceremony attended by Armenian Minister of Agriculture Ignati Arakelyan, FAO Representative in Armenia Raimund Jehle, officials of the ministries of Agriculture and of Nature Protection, and representatives of other international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and fishery enterprises.

“The new model is a breakthrough in using water resources for aquaculture more efficiently,” Jehle said. “It is an important contribution to sustainable management of resources, as well as increasing income opportunities for rural areas.” Jehle also emphazised the project’s contribution to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

‘The new model is a breakthrough in using water resources for aquaculture more efficiently.’ said Raimund Jehle, FAO Representative in Armenia.

Currently the fish farm in Sayat-Nova can save and reuse 70 percent of the water used in its flow-through systems, but there is potential for even greater saving – more than 90 percent, according to FAO.

Construction of the water-reuse unit is the result of a public-private partnership involving FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the private company Bigama-Fruit LLC.

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The new facility was built under an FAO project entitled “Alternative utilization of water resources in Armenia in the field of fish production,” with a total FAO contribution of US$ 400 000. The objective is to reduce overutilization of groundwater in the Ararat Valley, which has been identified as a high-priority problem by the Government of the Republic of Armenia.

Source: FAO

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