Thursday, June 8 2017 19:09
Naira Badalian

RA Ministry of Agriculture: Belarus expressed willingness to open a center for agricultural machinery in Armenia

RA Ministry of Agriculture: Belarus expressed willingness to open a  center for agricultural machinery in Armenia

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.

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