Armenia: Development

Armenia: Development
Davit Lokian
Minister of Agriculture of Armenia
Dear readers,

Between July 18 and 25, 2005, you had an opportunity to address your
questions on the Yerkir’s website to DAVIT LOKIAN, Minister of
Agriculture of Armenia.

Below are the answers to your questions. See the full version of the
interview in Armenian.

Thank you for your active participation: Spartak Seyranian,
editor-in-chief of “Yerkir” Weekly.

Mrav – Dear Mr Minister. For 2 years now, thanks God, all the dams of
Armenia are full of water. Specially the Akhourian dam. But most
villagers in dry Aragatsotn do not have the water on time, and the
employees of water administration prefer to let the water go to the
Turks, rather than to giveto the peasants. Same thing was reported in
the Tchoghas dam basin recently. Why can’t we fix this existential
question? Do you have new irrigation plans for Shirak, Aragatsotn dry

Davit Lokian – Thank you for appreciating the work that has been done
in the past two years. However, there are still lands where we have
problems. Thatis why the government is directing $170 million to
fixing the irrigation system. The Aragatsotn and Shirak regions are
included in the Millennium Challenge program of the US
government. Besides, the Armenian government in cooperation with the
World Bank is implementing local projects in Gehgarkunik, Shirak,
Aragatsotn and Lori regions. I believe the irrigation problem will be
wholly resolved in Armenia in the coming 3-4 years. The water we lose
because we give it to neighbors will be much less since it is going to
stay in the reservoirs currently under construction or directed to the
irrigation system.

Eric – You worked as a Minister of Urban Development for couple of
years before being nominated as a Minister of Agriculture of
Armenia. In both cases you did not have any experience in the fields
you were/are in charge of. What if next time Dashnaktsutyun party
receives a vacant post of the Minister of Health or the Minister of
the Education? Will you agree to become a Minister in one of those
Ministries? Do not you think one should know what he/she does before
seating on a ministerial chair and expect foreign consultants to
literate them in the work they were supposed to know before agreeing
on the Ministerial posts? Do not you think that appointment of
`strangers in the fields’ as Ministers in current Government holds
back the development of Armenian economy? Unfortunately, there are
many cases of `strangers’ occupying the ministerial chairs in the
current Government, don’t you think. Anyways, I will appreciate your
honest and open answer. Thanks

Davit Lokian – Let me state first that the Ministry of Health is
headed by one of our party members; the Ministry of Education was
headed in the past by Levon Mkrtchian. I have no much of a desire to
change ministries but if there are serious problems in a ministry in
terms of governance or clarifying of general principles and when the
government and my party had deemed necessary, I have tried to work and
resolve the problems. It is the head of the country and my party
comrades that are to evaluate my performance. Eric, let me assure you
that I have no intention to head the Education or Health Ministries. I
suggest we could meet if Eric finds it possible to understand what his
criteria are when evaluating a minister’s performance, and how much he
knows about the ministers’ work.

Vazgen – Is it true that the Lebanon-based branch of the ARF has
rejected the socialist doctrine and instead endorsed capitalism? if I
am not mistaken, that’s the largest branch of the ARF and so why is
the ARF a member of the socialist international?

Davit Lokian – I am not aware, and I believe that no such thing is

See the full version of the interview in Armenian.

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