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26 September 2011

Mott MacDonald completes commission on US$177 million agricultural development programme, Armenia

Mott MacDonald has completed its four year commission as oversight consultant for the Millennium Challenge Account - Armenia (MCA-Armenia), a non-commercial organisation, on behalf of the Government of Armenia. Funding was provided by the US government’s foreign aid agency the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which has invested US$177 million in irrigation and agricultural development in Armenia. The MCA-Armenia programme has so far benefited more than 420,000 rural residents in around 350 communities.

Mott MacDonald experts provided environmental assessments, in compliance with client guidelines, for subsequent incorporation into final project design as well as social assessment oversight and preparation of the required safeguard documents. The team also monitored the performance of the design-build contractors involved in the programme to ensure that appropriate environmental, social, health and safety measures were taken into account.

Over the last four years Mott MacDonald specialists have also overseen; the rehabilitation of six main canals which will reduce water losses, increase irrigated lands, and improve water distribution in the irrigation system; the construction of five gravity systems to help save electricity and provide stable water supply to the benefiting communities; the rehabilitation of 17 pumping stations; the rehabilitation of Ararat Valley drainage system which will reduce ground water levels in the Ararat and Armavir Marzes (provinces) of Armenia; and the rehabilitation of tertiary canals, which will benefit local communities in 10 Marzes of the country: Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Sunik, Vayots Dzor, Kotayk, Tavush, Shirak, Gegharkunik and Lori.

Project director Wim Verheugt said: “Millennium Challenge Corporation's investment of US$177 million in the irrigation and agricultural sectors of Armenia is critical to the development of the country's economy and the livelihoods of local farmers and agribusinesses.”

“Our role as environmental and social oversight consultant has been essential to ensure that investments in the agricultural sector in Armenia have been sustainable to both local and international environmental standards,” Wim added.

Mott MacDonald also provided advisory services in institutional strengthening and helped to train nearly 45,000 farmers in improved farming practices. In addition, the consultancy delivered technical assistance to water supply associations and institutions.


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