Wednesday, April 12 2017 12:09
Naira Badalian

Armenia intends to turn agriculture into working business

ArmInfo. Karen Karapetyan, the   Prime Minister of Armenia, plans to turn domestic agriculture into  working and profitable business. This was stated by him at the  meeting held at the Minsitry of Agriculture.  During the session the   Minister learned about the propgrams of the Ministry and appropriate  international projects.

According to the information shared with Arminfo at the press office  of the Ministry, at a consultation held on the spot, the speakers  presented the Ministry's ongoing projects, results, prospects of  international cooperation and development programs. First, reference  was made to the 2017 development program for spring wheat, buckwheat,  peas, peas, barley, corn, alfalfa and sweet clover.

 It was reported that the process of import and supply of seeds was  already in progress. Some of them were acquired in Gyumri selection  station, which provides seeds at a much lower price. The Prime  Minister stressed the importance of the development and expansion of  the Gyumri selection station and cmmissioned those responsible to  submit an appropriate program within a short period of time.

"Why we have not yet estimated what to do to reduce dependence on the  outside. We keep saying that we imports should be substituted. Hence,  we need to study what Armenia is importing and what we can do for it.  Why do we not address the seed sector, if we have a seed-breeding  station? If we are talking about replacing the imports with domestic  goods, if we have something that works well, it should broaden its  activities. A closed joint stock company has to be established based  on the Gyumri selection station, which may become a normal commercial  institution, engaged in seed production and trade. Seeds need to be  made a profitable business instead of providing ever larger subsidies  every year," Karen Karapetyan noted.

It was reported that in order to properly organize the spring  agricultural campaign, the supply of fertilizers and diesel fuel is  already in process with strict financial discipline. AMD 1.5 billion  will be saved up due to better targeting and greater efficiency in  the process of diesel fuel distribution. The Prime Minister stressed  the need for showing a tough attitude in making spending decisions.

"We need to understand why we are spending and what will be the  result. Each item of expenditure, any decision should be followed by  a numeric answer. I need figures in order to realize the expected  outcome.  Other solutions will not be accepted. Analysis, monitoring  and words like that should be used least: we must be short-spoken  with a focus on money and results," the Prime Minister said.  The  Prime Minister was informed that the Ministry is working on the  production of organic fertilizers in Armenia. Experiments have shown  that it is more efficient and cost-effective. The investment package  will be submitted to the Government.

 Karen Karapetyan was briefed on the ongoing efforts aimed at  introducing an agricultural insurance system, developing extensive  gardens and orchards, importing anti-hail nets at affordable prices,  implementing programs for the lease of agricultural machinery and  applying drip irrigation on farmland.

A pilot project is planned to be available as loans for the purchase  of agricultural raw materials, which will be guaranteed by an  agreement between the milk processing companies and farmers, and the  farmers will get the purchase price at the time of purchase.

Reference was also made to improving soil fertility, agricultural  zoning, organizing training courses for farmers, cooperative programs  and activities of the Agricultural Development Fund.  Prime Minister   Karapetyan highlighted the need for effective and strict  implementation of all programs.  Coming to the activities of the  Agricultural Development Fund, the Premier stressed the importance of  its high profitability. He pointed to the need for getting private  investors engaged in highly profitable and quick-return programs and  funneling cheap credit funds toward strategic projects.

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