ArmInfo. The pricerise of food products in Armenia, in particular butter and meat, is due to international trends, said Vazgen Safaryan, the chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Armenia, responding to the question of ArmInfo during a press conference on October 18.
"Most of the butter, Armenia imports from New Zealand, where prices have risen to $ 5.9 per kg, which is why our importers raised the cost to $ 6.2. Therefore, now the government needs to explore new markets for the import of the same butter, meat and other product lines," he said. According to Safaryan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should play a decisive role in this matter, in particular, conducting the corresponding work with the embassies. "I think that in the next 2-3 months our government will find new markets and will act as a guarantor for importers," Safaryan said.
At the same time, Safaryan noted that today's pricerise in meat is due to weather conditions, which led to higher prices for fodder crops and a reduction in the number of livestock. As alternative markets for meat imports, he called countries where cattle farming is a priority sector of agriculture, in particular Uruguay, Argentina. According to Safaryan, there is a need to study the import capabilities of these markets, which can subsequently lead to the signing of intergovernmental agreements.
At the same time, the expert referred to the policy pursued by Russia and the EU countries in terms of retaining the growth of prices for agricultural products. "At one time, Russia allocated 13% of the budget for subsidizing agricultural loans, the EU countries - more than 40%. And we support only greenhouses, where we grow cucumbers and tomatoes, which are in high demand in Russia," he said. According to the head of the Union, support should be provided to the entire production sector, actively using public-private partnerships, thus providing affordable loans to farmers, which will contribute to the development of the entire production.
According to the RA Customs Service, Armenia imported frozen meat of cattle in volume of 3.1 thousand tons in 2016, with an annual growth of 11.4%, with India accounting for 64.3% of imports. The oil was imported to Armenia in the volume of 4.7 thousand tons with an annual growth of 7.8%. 65.3% of imported oil was imported to New Zealand.