March 2, 2018 - 18:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday, March 2 signed a $32 million loan agreement with Spayka Limited Liability Company (Spayka), a leading food producer and exporter in Armenia, to help the company expand greenhouse operations and increase exports.
The agreement was signed by Shane Rosenthal, ADB Country Director for Armenia, and Davit Ghazaryan, General Director of Spayka, at a ceremony in Yerevan, according to ADB.
“Agriculture plays a big role in Armenia’s economy, representing over 16% of the country’s gross domestic product, a quarter of its exports, and employing a third of the country’s work force,” said Rosenthal. “We are confident that our partnership with Spayka will not only provide a needed impetus to strengthen Armenia’s agriculture sector, but also introduce the country’s world-class produce to the rest of the world.”
The project will help expand Spayka’s operations, particularly in horticulture and supply chain management, through the development of 30 hectares of climate-controlled greenhouses equipped with drip irrigation systems to produce tomatoes and bell peppers for export, particularly to the Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates. This is in line with the government’s goal of increasing Armenia’s agricultural productivity amid climate change risks, while fully leveraging the company’s existing supply chain and client network.
“The loan provided by ADB is of vital importance for Spayka’s development strategy. The modern, climate resilient new technological solutions will be used for the first time in the region, which will help save energy and water resources,” said Ghazaryan. “With the help of this loan, hundreds of full-time jobs will be created in the country.”
Once fully implemented, annual production for tomatoes and bell peppers from 30 hectares of climate-controlled greenhouses is expected to reach 10 million kilograms (kg) and 2 million kg, respectively, and strengthen Armenia’s position as a strong producer and exporter of agricultural products. The project will also contribute to the government’s goal of private sector job creation, with 275 full-time jobs expected to be opened throughout the project’s duration.
Spayka, established in 2001, is Armenia’s leading food producer, processer, exporter, and logistics company, with a supply chain expanding to the Russian Federation, the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and parts of Europe. The company, which is also engaged in trading of a wide range of agricultural produce, dairy production, canned food production, packaging production, and vehicle services, currently employs 1,173 employees, 60% of whom are women, and sources produce from about 5,000 farmers in Armenia.