Government to provide unprecedented $600,000 loan for seed purchases

Government to provide unprecedented $600,000 loan for seed purchases
to farmers in Armenia

YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. Armenia’s government will give an
unprecedented loan, $600,000, to farmers for potato seed purchases,
head of the Agrarian-Peasant Union of Armenia Hrach Berberyan said.

The seeds are from the Netherlands, and the loan is extended to
promote potato experts, Berberyan told a press conference on Monday.

The respective agreement will be signed in a couple of days, Berberyan
said. Half of the loan will be paid while purchasing the seeds and the
remaining party is to be repaid after the crops is sold, he added.

According to the head of the union, the loan project will help
increase crops by 7,000 tons this year, and half of the crops will be
used as seeds and the remaining part will be exported.

Armenia’s National Statistical Service reports potato crops were about
730,000 tons in 2014 (11% growth against 2013).

The aim of the project is to help farmers experiencing loan repayment
problems. Farmer eligibility criteria are the condition of the village
and professional qualities of farmers, Berberyan said. If interested
farmers have to file an application with the union within a week. Most
successful farmers will be sent to Holland for a training course in
autumn.

The head of the union also said that the official statistics suggests
a total of 650,000 tons of potatoes were produced in Armenia in 2013,
as compared to a potential of 800-900,000 tons. Of it 44,000 were
exported, he said.

The EEU market provides a new advantage in terms of potato exports,
Berberyan said.

According to Berberyan, if works are arranged in a proper way,
Armenia’s potato exports may reach 70-80,000 tons within three years.

Increased exports will not lead to rise in potato prices, according to
Berberyan. He said potatoes are exported at a price of $400 per ton.
Average yield is 45-48 tons per hectare in Armenia.

The head of the Agrarian-Peasant Union said potato production is
promising in Armenia due to frost-resistance and stability of yield if
improved varieties are used. -0–

From: A. Papazian

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