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PublicationTowards Improved Farm Structures and Rural Land Market Functioning: Policy Options Based on Lessons from European Experience(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-07-14) van Holst, FrankMost transition countries in Central and Eastern Europe face enormous challenges in developing a viable land structure. Due to restitution processes and socially engaged policies of privatization, wide spread land fragmentation is present. The situation in Armenia is comparable with many other countries in the region. Privatization was mainly done in the 1990s but continues until now as state and public land still represent a relatively large share of agricultural land. Figures of Armenia over the last 20 years illustrate minimal change in average farm and plot size. This outline is based on review and analysis of available data and a visit to Armenia in June 2017. It aims to contribute to selecting the policy options and setting the preconditions in Armenia needed to get a well-functioning rural land market to enlarge farms and to reduce fragmentation. As shown in this report, experience in the region is still limited which made it necessary and relevant to refer to experience in Western European countries. Options are not limited to land consolidation but include improved management of state land, land banking, agricultural lease regulation and some other supporting measures. The analysis conducted for this report draws on data collected from the Agricultural Census data of 2014 and data from the Real property cadastre. Qualitative data are based on several reports, presentations and interviews with experts and policy makers listed in the annex. Although further analysis is needed, it is clear that the current situation provides a serious risk for the agricultural sector which jeopardises the impact of any support to the sector. While Western European countries could organically adapt and support the sector to changing market conditions since the 1950s, the situation in Armenia (and other countries in the region) requires a set of measures which is unprecedented in its scale and intensity to speed up this process. PublicationSustainable, Inclusive Agriculture Sector Growth in Armenia: Lessons from Recent Experience of Growth and Contraction(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05) Christensen, GarryThis Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Armenia has been prepared with the aim to identify key challenges and opportunities to advance the twin goals of ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The review of Armenia’s agriculture sector forms part of this background material. Following an overview of the sector’s major characteristics, the study analyses the determinants of agriculture sector growth from 2004-2015, a period characterized by both expansion and contraction. The links between this growth and employment creation are then considered, followed by review of the inclusiveness of observed sector growth. Agriculture sector resilience to exogenous shocks is also examined, at both sector and household level. The study concludes by assessing the implications of the analysis for the four original hypotheses PublicationModernization and Commercialization of Armenian Agriculture: Priorities for Sector Reform and Investment(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-06-09) World Bank GroupThe study focuses on themes and areas that have been identified as highly relevant for the modernization and commercialization of the agriculture sector. The study originally aimed to review: agricultural marketing, processing and exports; food safety; agricultural “cooperation,” including farmers’ groups; agricultural extension and agricultural insurance. This coverage was subsequently modified to: (i) avoid repetition of existing work; (ii) draw more extensively on WBG experience in other countries; (iii) address relevant long-term issues more directly; and (iv) to inform discussion of relevant issues on which little information was available. The proposed review of marketing, processing and exports, an area that has already been well studied – was thus replaced with a review of global experience in developing successful export-led agricultural industries. Similarly, the study of agricultural ‘cooperation,’ an area also widely studied, was replaced with an analysis of agricultural land markets. Both “cooperation” and land markets are highly pertinent to the need to increase farm size to improve competitiveness. Land markets offer a more structural, long-term response to this problem, however, a response that so far has received little attention. Finally, an analysis of public expenditure on agriculture was added to provide insight into public expenditure on long-term versus short-term sector objectives. The review outlines the elements of a long-term framework based on building a cluster-based, institutional framework for horticultural exports, and suggests the need to prioritize associated development of agricultural extension, food safety, agricultural land markets and agricultural risk management. Horticulture is viewed as a vector for modernization and commercialization, due to its demonstrated potential for exports. The proposed framework would drive growth and change throughout the sector, however, due to the sector-wide impact of support for extension, food safety, land markets and risk management.