Exploring Economic Prospects for Artsakh - A New Internship Program

19 July 2018

Meet Tatevik Sargsyan, Vahe Azizyan and Ararat Sahakyan – 3 young specialists from Armenia who are currently in Artsakh with the mission to explore new development prospects for the local bee-keeping, honey-production and related spheres.

Tatevik, Vahe and Ararat are the first participants of a new internship program launched jointly by the ICARE (International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education) Academy and the Tufenkian Foundation. The initiative aims to create opportunities for young specialists to engage with Artsakh on a professional level and apply their skills and expertise to develop the local economy.

The 3 interns currently study at the ICARE Academy Master’s of Agribusiness Program – an internationally competitive business program taught in English, based in Yerevan. Through this course, the Academy works to provide future specialists with strong quantitative, management, and decision-making skills in the sphere of agribusiness.

These skills are highly needed in Artsakh, especially in the liberated borderlands, where development programs are scarce and the economic base is still being formed.


Images from the Internship Process


During the past decade, the Tufenkian Foundation has implemented a range of initiatives aimed at the economic development of Artsakh’s border villages, mostly focusing on agricultural projects. Throughout these efforts, we have identified several key challenges that hinder the economic progress in the liberated regions. One of them is the lack of specific skills, expertise and know-how in the sphere of agriculture.

This is why we decided to launch this initiative together with the ICARE Academy and invite the most promising young specialists to utilize their talent and knowledge for a better Artsakh.

Tatevik, Vahe and Ararat were selected for the internship through a competitive process (an open call was distributed to all students of the Academy).

Ararat is an economist with a degree from the Yerevan State University. In addition to his current studies at the Academy, he has 3 years of professional experience in business and investment consulting. Talking about why he applied for the internship, Ararat said "I want to put my knowledge and energy to best possible use for the effective implementation of Tufenkian Foundation programs, as well as learn from experienced specialists".

Vahe is a graduate of the French University of Armenia, where he studied Marketing prior to enrollment at the ICARE Academy. "I am thankful to the Tufenkian Foundation for the opportunity to apply my academic skills in practice and have a rich exchange of practices", he shared.

Tatevik has a diverse academic and professional background. Prior to joining the Academy to study agribusiness and marketing, she has been involved in the fields of linguistics and journalism."Getting involved in the activities of the Tufenkian Foundation is the best opportunity for me to discover and evaluate the agricultural potential of Artskah and plan new development projects", Tatevik said about the initiative.

During their internship, the 3 interns are working closely with the Tufenkian Foundation staff in Artsakh. Their activities include field trips to Kashatagh, involvement in the small beeswax production company managed by the Tufenkian Foundation and research of the local market. Based on their experiences in the field and analysis of the local agribusiness environment, Tatevik, Vahe and Ararat will prepare practical advice and recommendations for the further development of the bee-keeping and honey production spheres in Artsakh.


The International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE) Foundation is a non-governmental and non-commercial organization established in Yerevan, Armenia in 2005 by Texas A&M University. ICARE is an umbrella institution for the Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC), the Agribusiness Research Center (ARC), and the EVN Wine Academy. Learn more here

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