Congress asks ATG to Expand Programs

Congress asks ATG to Expand Programs

November 15, 2000

The Armenian Technology Group, Inc., a not-for-profit international development organization based in California, this week announced that it is ready to move forward with the expansion of its private sector agribusiness promotion effort throughout the former Soviet Union.

Language recommending such expansion is contained in the foreign assistance spending bill signed by the President on November 6.

For the past ten years, ATG has been involved in providing humanitarian aid and economic development programs in the Caucasus region. ATG programs have promoted the concept of an open and civil society, and through the participation of local people, in the development of democratic institutions in a free-market economy.

As such, to overcome the recent drought situation in Armenia and avert a famine in that country, this year alone ATG farmers were able to supply locally produced emergency wheat seed for planting to more than 12,000 subsistence farmers in 205 villages through its Armenia-based Seed Producers Association. The U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provided major funding for the operation.

“It is not everyday that non-profit, volunteer organizations are asked by the U.S. Congress to expand their programs,” said Arthur O. Hazarabedian, DVM, chair of ATG’s board of directors.

“Rep. George Radanovich (R-California-19th), when he returned from a trip to the region, began discussing how to use our successful program in Armenia as a model throughout the former Soviet Union. We had no idea that Congressman Radanovich’s idea would spread like wildfire in the halls of Congress.”

Despite Congress’ action, final approval for the expansion of the Silk Road Seed Multiplication Program will be up to the executive branch, most notably the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Hazarabedian is confident that ATG will gain support from the executive branch.

“Our work in Armenia throughout the 1990s has become a model for other countries in the region to follow. Initial capitalization and technical know-how are the only ingredients missing from the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus,” he added.

“With the U.S. government’s confidence and support, ATG will soon utilize the tools necessary to help these countries reach their objectives.”

For more information about how you can help Armenia’s farmers, contact the ATG office at (559) 224-1000 or by e-mail ( Tax-deductible donations can be sent to ATG; 1300 E. Shaw, Suite 149; P.O.Box 5969; Fresno, CA 93755-5969.
You may also donate to ATG online.