ArmInfo. The Minister of Agriculture of Armenia, Ignaty Arakelyan, during his visit to the Republic of Belarus with the Minister of Industry of Belarus Vitaly Vovk, discussed the issues concerning the program for the provision of agricultural machinery in the financial lease (leasing) and the creation of a station for agricultural machinery in Armenia.
As the press service of the Agriculture Ministry of Armenia told ArmInfo, during the meeting Ignaty Arakelyan noted that the Armenian farmer is familiar with the possibilities of Belarusian agricultural machinery. In addition, as the minister stressed, agricultural machinery from Belarus is affordable.
During the meeting, an agreement was reached to form a group of specialists who will visit Armenia and get acquainted with the market and the programs of the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture.
The Minister of Industry of the Republic of Belarus, Vitaly Vovk, expressed readiness to open a center for agricultural machinery in Armenia, which will increase the volume of its implementation, and, if appropriate, also supply to neighboring countries.
To recall, on October 24, 2016, at a meeting with the Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus, Minister of Agriculture of Armenia Ignaty Arakelyan stated the need to initiate steps towards the use of the existing potential in the agrarian sector. "If there are investment projects from Belarusian investors, we will be happy to discuss them," the minister said. Stressing that the priority task of the agricultural sector of Armenia is to complete the sector with the newest agricultural machinery, Arakelyan, as a possible area of cooperation, noted the possibility of creating a technical center for agricultural machinery. Also, noting the availability of demand for Belarusian agricultural machinery, the parties stressed the expediency of continuing efforts to create a plant for the tractors building in Armenia. Recalling that a combine harvester for harvesting fodder and grain crops is being produced in Belarus, the Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Armenia, Igor Nazaruk, suggested studying the possibilities of their import to Armenia.
As early as March 27, 2017 in Armenia, applications for participation in the program on the provision of agricultural machinery in leasing started. According to the program approved by the Government, farmers will be able to purchase agricultural equipment at a rate of 2% per annum with a maturity of 3-10 years (small equipment - 3 years, tractors - 6, harvesters - 10). Another 7% will be subsidized by the state. As a result, it is expected that in 2017 about 2.2 billion AMD will be allocated for the purchase of agricultural machinery. "The market is open, there are no restrictions, and if Belarusian producers and suppliers are interested in the Armenian market, they can participate in it," Ignaty Arakelyan said.
And on May 18, at a meeting of the Government, a plan was approved for the organization of a state- private machine and tractor station (MTS). As Ignaty Arakelyan noted, earlier the department started accepting applications for participation in the program for the organization of the station. Only one company, Idas LLC, responded to the state's proposal. In this connection, the minister suggested allocating 700 million AMD from the government's reserve fund in the first half of 2017 for the implementation of the program and the purchase of the necessary agricultural equipment, the Ministry of Agriculture will provide this equipment on a gratuitous basis to the Agriculture Development Fund will be allocated to farmers for further allocation, 242 million AMD will be invested by private entrepreneurs. After 4 years, the minister said that the funds will be returned with interest at a rate of 926 million AMD.
Meanwhile, as Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan noted, according to the initial agreement, investments should have been made in the proportion of 1 to 4 - per unit of investment from the state 4 from private entrepreneurs. In fact, as he noted, everything turned upside down. In response, the Minister of Agriculture, Ignaty Arakelyan noted that the project was initially offered to Russian investors, but they did not show interest. And only the Armenian company became interested in the project.