ArmInfo. The Armenian Ministry of Agriculture has applied to the Prosecutor General's Office to restore the rights of Armenian farm enterprises, which have not yet been repaid the debts by the processing companies. "The farmers are constantly complaining that nothing specific is being done to hold the offenders accountable. This step will help prevent such things in the future," Deputy Minister of Agriculture Robert Makaryan said at a press conference in Yerevan on December 21, when summing up the results of the year 2016.
The deputy minister noted that as of December 21 as many as 39 companies processing fruit and vegetables and 50 companies procuring grapes purchased 171 thsd tons of fruit, vegetables and grapes. The average procurement price of grapes was 128.8 AMD per 1 kg, which is 16.3 AMD lower than in 2015.
In 2016, procurement of fruit and vegetables totaled 7 bln AMD. 6.3 bln AMD or 83.6% of this amount was paid. 11.8 bln AMD out of 14 bln 145 mln AMD was paid for the grapes. "The processing enterprises assured that they will repay the debts to the farmers in the future," Makaryan said.
The problem of last year's debts for the procured grapes has not been settled so far. As of 21 December, the total debt of 6 procuring companies - Saroyan Wine Factory, Areni Wine, Chateau Arnauld, Shahnazaryan, Maran and Vinar - owed to the farm enterprises of Kaghtsrashen, Aygepat, Aygezard Norashen, Shahumyan and Narek for the procured grapes is 155.5 mln AMD, of which nearly 100 mln AMD is the debt of Vinar LLC. One or two companies will be provided with loans so that they could repay their debts.
Makaryan said that according to Vinar LLC, its debt to the farm enterprises is 47 mln AMD, whereas the Ministry has found out that Vinar's debt considerably exceeds this figure. "In fact, the debt has amounted to 100 mln AMD due to inaccurate and irresponsible work of the company's management," he said, adding that the company has failed to pay taxes and repay loans and that arrest has been imposed on the company's accounts.
To note, according to the Ministry, as of today as much as 143 thsd tons of fruits and vegetables have been exported from Armenia, 69.3 thsd tons more than in 2015. Makaryan said that in 2016 the major part of exports fell on the Russian market - nearly 85%.