ArmInfo. Armenia increased agricultural exports in 2017 by 21%, while imports grew by 17%. This was during the meeting with Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, RA Minister of Agriculture Ignat Arakelyan said. "Thus, in the sphere of agriculture a positive trade balance has been fixed," he stressed.
According to the Government of Armenia, Ignaty Arakelyan also noted that in the GDP structure the share of the agricultural sector by the beginning of 2017 was 15.9%.
In addition, he said that within the framework of the state program it is planned to increase the area of intensive gardens by 200 hectares, and on the initiative of the private sector - an additional 600 hectares. He noted that currently in the republic there are 2,190 hectares of intensive gardens.
Speaking about introduction of drip irrigation systems in the country, I. Arakelyan noted that this year within the state program the system will be implemented on an area of 1,600 hectares. "At present, the work that the private sector must perform is being adjusted," he said. Anti-hail nets will be installed on an area of 1 350 hectares.
Within the framework of the state program on leasing of agricultural machinery, farmers will be provided with machinery and equipment for a total amount of 2.8 billion drams. In this vein, Arakelyan noted that according to the results of 2017, 165 households were granted farmer households. agricultural machinery, which is more than 2.5 times the annual index.
For his part, the prime minister stressed that it is necessary to understand the causes of the problems that have accumulated in agriculture. "We have no restrictions on the markets. We have a liberal trade regime within the framework of membership in the EEMP. With the EU, the regime of trade preferences GSP + operates. GSP mode works with the USA, Canada, Japan, Norway and Switzerland, as well as a free economic zone with Iran. Our goal is to have modern, efficient and profitable agriculture, and for this we need to carry out reforms, "Karapetyan stressed.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in Jan-Dec 2017, the gross agricultural output of the RA fell by 3.0% to 906.8 billion AMD.