ArmInfo. Armenia's Minister of Agriculture admitted that the ministry is not eligible to ban import of agricultural products to Armenia if they are imported legally, he told journalists on December 1after the session of government. Arakelyan stated that if import is conducted illegally relative agencies will deal with the issue.
Earlier Agriculture Ministry has made a statement according to which until quite recently, Turkish-grown tomatoes and cucumbers were sold on the Armenian domestic market. The press office of the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture reports that the import of Turkish food products has been stopped; so has the trade with Turkish products on the Malatia farm market in Yerevan. At the same time, however, there are still some boxes of Turkish-grown tomatoes and cucumbers at storage houses and they regularly appear on the market. Minister Arakelyan, in turn, noted that after the receiving the alarm the relevant structures immediately took the necessary measures, however, not only the state structures but also NGOs should take active part in this process to settle the problem cardinally. Chairman of the Armenian State Food Safety Service Ishkhan Karapetyan suggested setting up an initiative civic service consisting of representatives of the Association of Greenhouse Facilities and submitting a written application to the State Revenue Committee to inspect the activities of the entity that imported the Turkish products. "It is also necessary to consider the problem from the economic point of view, paying serious attention to enhancement of competitiveness of the local products so that they could be at advantage as compared to the imported ones," the minister said, also stressing the need to diversify the range of products. Ishkhan Karapetyan called on the heads of greenhouse facilities to ensure the necessary volumes of high- quality and affordable agricultural products on the threshold of New Year holidays to rule out the need to import the products from Turkey.