EFSE success stories. Sargis Manukyan: a farmer shouldn’t put all eggs in one basket

EFSE success stories. Sargis Manukyan: a farmer shouldn’t put all eggs in one basket

“With ACBA at my side, we mapped out the future one step at a time. That makes the risk manageable,“ Manukyan says.

The resident of Lenughi village of Armenia’s Armavir province, Sargis Manukyan, believes that a farmer shouldn’t put all eggs in one basket. However, he knows that diversification can be risky too. A little more than ten years ago, Manukyan’s small farm enabled him to make a modest living. At the same time, he knew that limiting his business to livestock was equal to reducing his chances for a better life.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Providing his customers with dairy products, he thought about growing something and selling that, too. Since he had some land, he began thinking about a business that would make the most sense.

When he first discussed his diversification plans with ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank in 2001, Manukyan suggested that growing peaches would be a good way to broaden the scope of his farming activities and, more importantly, to respond to a local need for fruit.

A first loan from the bank helped him convert a 1 hectare plot into a peach orchard. Soon apricots followed.

“My family and I had been working as hard as we could to meet the demand and stand on our own feet, thanks to the ACBA’s assistance,” Manukyan says. “If you’re alone with all that risk, it means a lot of worrying. With ACBA at my side, we mapped out the future one step at a time. That makes the risk manageable and success all the more gratifying.”

Heavy rains and hail that are frequent in spring once again proved that it was a good decision to diversify.

With the latest loan, USD 20,000 in October 2013, he was able to invest in a delivery to serve customers further afield as well as new machinery to reduce production costs. He aslo purchased a few more calves.

“I can’t describe the satisfaction I felt when I paid my first employee his first salary. It meant I was right about the peaches,” says Manukyan, who currently employs four people.

Being a major bank in terms of loans to the agricultural sector, ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank transferred about AMD 41mln to "Support to Villagers Suffered from Natural Disasters" foundation to support Armavir residents, who suffered from the hail in spring 2013. AMD11mln of the total sum was contributed to the bank's associates.

As a partner lending institution of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), the bank currently provides even more loans in Armenia‘s rural areas to help agriculture development in the country.

The EFSE aims to foster economic development and prosperity in 16 countries, where it operates. As access to finance is a key success factor in developing the micro, small and medium enterprise segments, the EFSE focuses on assisting local financial sectors in strengthening their ability to ensure adequate and sustainable financing. The funding the EFSE provides as long-term finance primarily for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) – but also for private households in the form of home improvement loans – is channeled to these loan customers through local partner lending institutions.

The project is sponsored by theEuropean Fund for Southeast Europe

Lusine Mkrtumova / PanARMENIAN.Net
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