Any trip that a Toufayan family member makes to Armenia must include a visit to the tiny village of Zangakatun. This village is very dear to the Toufayans, as this Armenian-American family has provided great support to it over the years in order to further its economic development.

On October 12, Harry and Suzanne Toufayan, their daughter Kristine, and their relatives were in Zankagatun again. Their first stop was Zangakatun’s Agro Business Center. Established in 2013, its 200-ton capacity cooling facility enables villagers to store and preserve their apple and plum harvests. Special fruit drying equipment, recently donated to the center by FAR partners, has allowed the community to diversify its produce for the market.

On this visit the Toufayans were able to witness fruit preservation and storage. They saw the cooling facility nearly halfway full with produce. “It is rewarding to witness this and it makes my heart happy,” said Harry. “We can see our investment works right, and it gives results.” He didn’t miss the chance to taste the delicious dried plums.
Farmers who were in process of storing their fruit also had a chance to say thank you in person.

The Toufayans were also happy to learn that thanks to a completely new irrigation line that was used last year, 10 hectares of new orchards were set up for farmers to grow more apples, plums, peaches, and pears. Since most of Zangakatun’s 1,200 villagers are mainly involved in agriculture (orchards, honey production, and animal husbandry), the renovation of the entire irrigation system was vital. Built in the 1970s, it eventually fell into disrepair and until recently yielded a very low water supply. This rehabilitation also was made possible thanks to Toufayan’s generous support.

Another stop was the local kindergarten, which was generously renovated and refurbished by the Toufayans. The little ones had their chance to give a special thanks to Kristine, who now sponsors daily meals for the school’s students and helped to sponsor the construction of a new heating system to ensure that children can comfortably attend school year-round. She also recently promised to help with the renovation of the bathrooms for Zangakatun’s secondary school.

In addition to Zangakatun, the Toufayans are also great supporters of the village of Yervandashat in Armavir Province, where they supported the construction of a warehouse, sun driers, fumigation facilities, as well as the purchase of electric driers and packaging equipment, which have enabled farmers to process a great harvest of apricots and sell even more than usual. In addition, this year, Harry and Suzanne’s son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Meline Toufayan, also presented a preserve production unit to Haghartsin Monastery in Dilijan.