ArmInfo. The debts for the sold grapes have been repaid in Aghavnadzor village of Vayots Dzor province of Armenia, Armenian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Robert Makaryan said following the Government's sitting on October 6.
Makaryan said that Vedi Alco has already repaid 130 mln USD. He added that the owner of the company assured him today that the remaining amounts owed to several farmers will be repaid before the end of this week. When asked how the company has redeemed the debts, given the company's previous remarks that it had no funds to repay the debts, Makaryan replied, "They had alcohol. So they sold it and redeemed the debts".
He added that all issues related to the grape procurement process will be addressed within the framework of a comprehensive approach that will be presented to the public. As regards the winegrowers of Aghavnadzor, the deputy minister said that an agreement has been reached with the procuring companies. The farmers only have to negotiate the price, he noted. "This means that there will be no problems with grape procurement this year," Makaryan stressed.
The deputy minister added that at present a total of 90 thsd tons of grapes have already been purchased. The process will be continued without any obstacles, because even the surplus of the products will be purchased under agreements with other enterprises.
When asked what has changed to enable the settlement of the payment problems and what did not let the former government do that, the deputy minister said that the financial situation in the processing enterprises has changed. "They have been offered favorable solutions and mechanisms," Makaryan said, promising to disclose the details of the proposed mechanisms in the near future. At the same time, he did not rule out that the given mechanism can envisage a privileged system of subsidies and a low interest rate for agricultural loans.
To recall, in early September the residents of Aghavnadzor village blocked the entrance into the school, the kindergarten and the building of rural administration, expressing their protest against the delay in payments for the grapes. The village has nearly 2000 residents and it mostly grows Areni grapes. As of September 29, the procuring companies owed nearly 809 mln AMD to the farmers, according to Agriculture Minister Ignaty Arakelyan.