ArmInfo. Armenia's processing enterprises owe 850 million drams to farmers, including 500million drams for procured grapes, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Robert Makaryan said in response to ArmInfo's question today.
In 2015, processing enterprises procured grapes for 31.5 billion drams, and failed to pay 500 million drams of the total amount. As for Vedi Alco's debts to the farmers of Vayots Dzor region, the company has redeemed all, Makaryan said.
By operative data of the Ministry, the processing enterprises have procured 106,000 tons of grapes by October 21. The enterprises procured as much as they needed and paid to farmers in cash and as scheduled.
"This year farmers received less volumes of Areni sort grapes and the demand was higher than supply. As a result, the procurement price was high and the farmers were satisfied," the deputy minister said.
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.
At one of the previous government sessions, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Armenia, Karen Karapetyan, strongly criticized the management of the enterprises buying products from farmers and instructed to develop a long- term concept of procedures and processes for the procurement of grapes and other agricultural products.