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Official News

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Prime Minister discusses cooperative launch program with farmers





Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan visited today Avan community of Aragatsotni marz to discuss the Community Farm Resource and Competitiveness program. Since agriculture is set as a priority development area for Armenia, the program has been worked out by the Ministry of Agriculture in cooperation with the experts of the World Bank.

Six communities from Aragatsotni marz - Avan, Sasnashen, Tatul, Norashen, Geghadzor and Aragats - are involved in the program under which pasture reclamation, road rehabilitation, facility building and implement procurement activities will be carried out.

Presenting the program to the representatives of Avan community, Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan said that in the first place, the program seeks to assist the farmers of high-mountain regions since cattle-breeding seems to be their only livelihood, and added that livestock and pastures will be improved under the program.

The head of government said the program will succeed based on the joint management of the cooperative. “As a result, you will get serious support thanks to which productivity will be increased boosting your incomes,” Tigran Sargsyan said at the meeting with the representatives of the community adding that the secret of the successful management consists in coordinated efforts and teamwork. Currently the program is in its pilot stage and will be implemented in 55 more communities if successful. “We wish rural communities were in such a good condition within a few years that they would not need State support any longer,” the Prime Minister stressed.

To avoid milk price fluctuations in future, the head of government suggested estimating the size of a milk processing plant to be installed in the community so that the State could support its construction. “If you wish to dictate a price for milk you should grow ever stronger relying only on yourself. If you see that a corporate entity tries to set the price for milk, so you need consolidating and opposing united efforts against it,” the Prime Minister said.

Note that the cooperative will be organized in Avan community on the basis of a former one which still has two freezing facilities in working order.

Responding to the farmers’ concern over high interest rates of agricultural lending, Tigran Sargsyan reaffirmed that interest rates will go down this year as a result of discussions held with the executives of domestic trade banks.

Director of Farm Reform Support PIU Gagik Khachatryan noted that Avan community badly needs irrigation facilities for the pastures: there is a 1500 ha wide remote grassland which is used inadequately for want of water. People have to drive the livestock as far as 10 km away lowering the animals’ milk-yield and meat-producing capacity. Under a partial road rehabilitation program, 2km-long sections of the path leading to grassland will be rebuilt. In addition, access will be allowed for service vehicles which will facilitate the transportation of livestock and fresh milk. Note that the Avan Community Pasture Management program has a total cost of AMD 75,6mn.
 

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