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Book clubs-efficient format to deepen knowledge in agriculture

''Building Organic Agriculture in Armenia (BOAA)'' project that is aimed at the development of organic agriculture curriculum for Armenian National Agrarian University started an interesting initiative called ''Organic Book Club''.

The main idea behind The Organic Book Club is to hold group meetings once in a month and have a discussion over the already selected article that is related to organic agriculture with the core goal being to deepen the professional knowledge in organic agriculture and related sectors, in addition to improving communicational skills in English.

Our journey into the organic world started on October 29, 2018, when we first time came together with other members of the club, who are also from BOAA team to discuss the first introductory article on organic agriculture. The first session was conducted by BOAA Project Coordinator and YPARD Armenia communications officer Astghik Sahakyan.

Each month we have different meeting facilitator or host, who is randomly selected from the members of the club. Before each session, the host prepares questions on the article, answers to which will lead to the group discussions. So, to be able to answer the questions and to participate in the discussion each book club member should read and get well acquainted with the article prior to the meeting.

The general rules for the meeting are:

  • being respectful
  • avoiding interruptions
  • being considerate of each other’s ideas
  • comments and critique should be constructive
  • staying on topic
  • discussing the topic only in English

Already discussed topics include ''Principles of organic agriculture of The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM - Organics International), conventionalization in organic agriculture, organic ethics, etc.

The result of this initiative is not only deep and professional knowledge in organic agriculture, improved communication skills in a foreign language, but also strengthened team spirit. Spending more time together will allow the BOAA project team members to be on the same wavelength and to keep being informed about different fields of the same sector. Book club format can be applied in different agricultural projects, where knowledge improvement and team building are a priority.

Picture credits: Sos Avetisyan ICARE Foundation

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