Saturday, January 28 2017 15:40
Naira Badalian

Prime Minister in Armavir province: "We are standing next to the man who is taking on a burden"

Prime Minister in Armavir province: "We are standing next to the man  who is taking on a burden"

ArmInfo. "We are standing next  to the man who is taking on a burden", Armenian Prime Minister Karen  Karapetyan said during his visit to Armavir marz (province) of  Armenia.  

The press office of the Armenian Government reports that the factory  was built by Bagezyan Co., which is currently involved in Meridian  free economic zone and intends to expand its business activities in  Armenia through the construction of the new plant. The factory is  expected to provide 500-600 new jobs, with the first building to be  ready for operations later this year. The output will be exported to  the United States, Europe, Russia and Turkey.

The Prime Minister also visited the premises of the former canning  factory in Armavir, inspected the factory programs. Sargis-Karolina  Ltd is planning to carry out reconstruction work in the factory and  organize large-scale purveyance. The plant will also manufacture baby  food. The proposed volume of investment is USD7-8 million. Prime  Minister Karapetyan welcomed the implementation of said investment  projects, noting that the Government is ready to render assistance,  if necessary.

Calling at the Armavir Regional Administration, Karen Karapetyan met  with local community leaders and business people to discuss problems  and opportunities for development. The Prime Minister said that his  visit aims to discuss development projects in the region, outline the  projected steps. According to the Prime Minister, during his  government's 100-day activities, the existing problems were diagnosed  and the work done in various areas was summarized. "Having a plan for  industrial development, we can build our country's development  strategy. Today, we expect an open, pragmatic, practical  conversation, so that our regional partners could develop their  vision, advantages, problems and agree on where we are going," he  said.

Karen Karapetyan advised that the Government has summed up five  visits to the regions, 34 of 44 projects were approved. The Prime  Minister said that such activities will be organized periodically.   Governor of Armavir Marz Ashot Ghahramanyan reported on the  socio-economic situation in the region, outlining the projects,  achievements, problems and future plans. The Governor informed that  five-year development programs for 87 out of 97 communities have  already been approved. The Strategy of Armavir Marz Development for  2017-2025 is being developed, considering the strengths and  weaknesses of Armavir, as well as the problems and opportunities.

The Governor noted that nearly AMD150 billion-worth projects are  being implemented in the Marz. It is also planned to implement a  program of AMD50 billion in 2017. The ongoing projects are aimed at  farm products processing, concentrate production, the reconstruction  of water supply systems, the development of small and medium  enterprises, waste recycling, the launch of cotton, garment  production, as well as the development of the energy, jewelry,  tourism and other sectors.

The Premier stressed the importance of continued increase in  community budgets, and the estimation of opportunities in this  direction. "We are standing next to the man who is taking on a  burden.  Each community, region needs to understand what it wants for  the coming years. To this end, we must estimate our capabilities,  make an accurate analysis and move ahead."

The officer responsible for agriculture reported that 48 thousand  hectares out of a total of 97 thousand hectares of farmland is  currently cultivated in the Marz, which is more than 18 thousand  hectares as compared to 2015.

Prime Minister Karapetyan wanted to know whether there are modern  farms in the region that use drip irrigation system. "I think that we  are not going in the right direction in agriculture by following the  theory that every peasant is a good farmer. We have farmers who are  not good agriculturists: they did not get any education; they are not  trying to understand the new methods. We are providing increasingly  more subsidies, but the quality does not change at all.  In this  regard, your goal should be to organize training courses through the  Agrarian University of Armenia. You cannot always get a good harvest  if you keep by the methodology of traditional farming. The world has  changed," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister asked how much investment per hectare will be  needed if drip irrigation system is introduced in the region. "On the  average, the drip system cost per hectare in Nagorno- Karabakh is 1  million dram, with an estimated payback period of 3-4 years.  Concerned about the water quantity, we are making an extensive use of  water in Ararat Marz; we think of building a reservoir, which calls  for huge investments. We need to explain to the farmers that they  would be better off if they switch over the drip irrigation system.  Therefore, the officer in charge of agriculture must have a clear  plan. There is a simple truth in art of management, which is  formulated as follows: if you know what you want to get, then you  have a chance of getting it."

Addressing the problem agricultural machinery, the Prime Minister  said that the Ministry of Agriculture is negotiating with suppliers  to import agricultural machinery. Talking about the health sector,  Karen Karapetyan asked whether fair distribution is being made of  public funds between institutions. "Public funds have so far been  redistributed in a way that one finds himself in a privileged  position and, therefore, does not want to develop his clinic and the  other proves to be disadvantage, and as a result, does not see the  logic behind additional investment, which leads to a rampant "black  hole" in the economy," the Premier said, highlighting the involvement  of private managers in solving the problem.

Coming to education, the officers in charge said that the number of  teachers exceeds the demand, but either in this case there is a need  for more specialists in the educational institutions of different  communities.

"We have exactly twice as much fixed spending in schools. It is  important to optimize and reduce the costs, by paying teachers more  in order to motivate them to teach in the schools of surrounding  communities," the Head of Government said.

During the meeting, the community leaders and private sector  representatives in attendance introduced investment programs and  proposals relevant to various industries, including agricultural  processing, tourism, light industry and the development of small and  medium-sized enterprises, which the Government will soon discuss in  the form of investment packages.

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