June 16, 2014 - 11:43 AMT
EFSE success stories. Karen Grigoryan: we improve conditions for getting better crops
Grigoryan doesn’t have permanent employees but hires up to ten people when extra help is needed once or twice a month.
Bardzrashen was named for its location: the village in the Ararat province of Armenia is situated high on a hill, with a long curving road leading to it. Like many other villagers, Karen Grigoryan is a farmer - he has greenhouses to grow vegetables and flowers. To improve the quality of the crop and reduce the weather risk, he recently built a new heating system in his glassed greenhouse where he usually grows pinks.

The new iron pipes go through the whole territory, spreading the heat generated by the furnace located in the corner.

“Before, we heated the territory with electric stoves, which didn't secure the flowers from cold weather and were extremely costly,” Grigoryan says. “The problem had to be solved.”

He estimates the construction of the new heating system at $14 000, of which $5 000 was provided ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, a partner lending institution of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE).

Grigoryan has been growing pinks for several years already. He usually sells them on the spot or sometimes at a special flower market in Yerevan. The clients usually buy 2000-3000 thousand pinks at once.

“The business is going well and I am very pleased with the cooperation with ACBA, which is always ready to lend a helping hand. Weather is a major risk for us, but we can’t fight against the nature. So, we just improve the conditions for getting better crops,” Grigoryan says.

He doesn’t have permanent employees but hires up to ten people when extra help is needed once or twice a month.

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank is one of Armenia's major banks. As of first quarter of 2014, the bank held total assets of USD 640 million, capital of USD 128 million, and loan portfolio of USD 430 million.

Initiated by KfW (The German Development Bank) with the support of various donors and international finance institutions, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) is today one of the world’s largest development finance investment funds.

EFSE's main investment activity is the refinancing of selected partner lending institutions in the target region of Southeast Europe and European Eastern Neighborhood Region.

The EFSE aims to foster economic development and prosperity in the target region through the sustainable provision of additional development finance, notably to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and to private households, via qualified financial institutions.

The project is sponsored by the European Fund for Southeast Europe

Lusine Mkrtumova / PanARMENIAN.Net