“WE CARRY OUT THE WORKS WITHIN THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE”
Monday, 28 January 2013 09:56
The Minister of Agriculture summarized the year of 2012
Last week, NKR Minister of Agriculture Andranik Khachatrian summarized
the year of 2012. At a meeting with journalists, he presented the
situation, the tasks and problems in the sphere.
Speaking of the strategic importance of the agrarian sector, Mr.
Khachatrian focused on the necessity of ensuring food-
self-sufficiency, development and consolidation of rural settlements.
Noting that for the last 5 years the agrarian sphere had provided 13.4%
of GDP and in January-September of 2012 it made 14.7%, he said that
the index was expected to increase within a year.
Beginning from 2008, the amount of funds allocated from the state
budget for the agrarian sector was increasing day by day and in
2012 it made 2949.6 million drams, exceeding the annual average of
2006-2007 more than 8 times.
According to the land balance, Nagorno-Karabakh has 124878.5 hectares
of arable land, which makes 21% of the agricultural land. The ministry
is aimed at the efficient use of land resources, improvement of land
use and crop production, and increase of crop yields. The minister
briefed on the harvest gathered in the republic, noting the reasons
of its increase or decrease in different years.
The highest rate of wheat yield (except the Shahumian region – 23.2
q / ha) was achieved in Hadrut region – 19.7 q / ha and the lowest –
the in Martakert region, making 11 q / ha. In the Martakert region,
the yield of barley was also low.
According to the minister, thanks to the efficient work of the
republican operational headquarters, in 2012, they managed to gather
wheat harvest with almost no loss. The conversation related also to
the mechanisms of providing land users with seeds of spring crops
and agricultural chemicals, to the measures taken by the ministry
for reducing the size of the damage caused to the fields by natural
disasters and improper implementation of the rules of agricultural
The recent studies have testified that the most part of production
in the GDP structure makes livestock. Emphasizing the importance of
balanced development of the branches, Mr. Khachatrian noted that the
government was consistent in increasing the efficiency of livestock.
“It can be only noted that in 2012, 1665 million AMD was directed to
crediting various livestock sectors”, he said.
As of January 1, compared with the last year, increase in the number
of all animals was fixed, except for birds, due to the increase in
their slaughtering at the end of the year.
“The year of 2012 was also favorable in terms of maintaining a stable
anti-epidemic situation”, the minister said. “During the year,
there was no outbreak of dangerous diseases in the republic. In
the reporting year, corresponding vaccine at 25.2 million AMD was
imported from the Russian Federation, and the RA provided vaccine at
27.7 million AMD as assistance”, he noted.
Among the achievements of 2012 Mr. Khachatrian noted the opening of
the official website of the ministry, establishment of cooperation
with other countries, improvement of the veterinary services, etc.
However, much is still to be done, and in the coming years, the
ministry will try to maintain and develop the stable growth rates of
the year of 2012.
The journalists touched upon the problems in the meat market, in
particular, related to the sale of meat in several villages and the
lack of control over the quality of the imported meat products.
As for the control, Mr. Khachatrian noted that the country almost
lacked a system of ensuring food security, and the ministry of
agriculture was taking corresponding steps to fill this gap. In
addition, since September 2012, meat import from Armenia has been
prohibited for security reasons. It is, in particular, due to the
registered cases of anthrax. As for the restrictions on selling meat
from the villages at the Stepanakert market, the minister does not
consider the issue urgent, especially that the meat factory is put
into operation. The issue will be fully resolved with the opening
of a meat processing enterprise, and the ministry has already got
The journalists raised the issue of the necessity to introduce
corresponding changes in the crediting mechanism implemented by the
Fund for Rural and Agricultural Support for reimbursing the damage
caused by natural disasters, as the operating mechanisms often benefit
only the officials, making business in the agricultural sphere,
and not the common land users.
In response, the minister noted that the reimbursement was often
given in the form of prolonging the term of the credits’ repayment
and not as financial assistance. And it is normal, especially that
no insurance system is operating in agriculture yet. By the way,
the ministry of agriculture is working in this direction, and pilot
insurance will be introduced in some branches soon.
Why are so much funds allocated, and the works are done poorly?
Answering the question, A. Khachatrian noted that the works were
carried out within the resources available, but in general, they
were insufficient. “Just for fertilizing the lands, 6 or 7 billion
AMD are needed, while only 400-500 million AMD are allocated, or
about 10 times less. 80% of the registered agricultural equipment
is worn, causing violation of the agricultural rules and the terms
of agricultural works. To renew the fleet, about 20 billion AMD are
needed. And so is in all directions”, the minister said.
When will the NKR become self-sufficient in terms of food? According
to Andranik Khachatrian, for some products – wheat, eggs, poultry, and
in part the dairy products – the republic is already self-sufficient.
The ministry is currently elaborating a concept of food security,
as a result of which many issues will get their solution.
At the request of the journalists, the minister told in details about
the sub-regional programs. As we know, they have been carried out
only in Banadzor and Ukhtadzor so far. Similar programs will be also
carried out in the Togh sub-region (Hadrut region) Khramort sub-region
(8 communities of the Askeran region), 10 communities of the Martuni
region (Nor shen, Kaghartsi, etc).
The minister pays great importance in the implementation of all
these works and provision of good results to consultations and
consolidation of the relation “ministry – peasant – land user –
farmer”. Here he finds it necessary to stimulate the process by
increasing the salaries of agronomists and veterinarians working in
the field. A slight increase has taken place, and it will be periodic,
assured the minister of agriculture.