EC Implementing $45 Million Food Program in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The European Commission’s Food Security Program aimed at supporting the country’s budget is currently being implemented in Armenia–the Program’s Policy Advisor Arndt von Stein-Lausnits told Noyan Tapan.

The total amount allocated to Armenia under the Program since it began in 1996 is 41 million ecues–with 2 million ecues directed at technical assistance. The Program will be in effect till 2000.

The Program aims to establish an environment for long-term food security in the country during the Government’s structural adjustment efforts. Financial assistance is rendered to the Ministry of Agriculture–the State Cadastral Department of Real Property and the Ministry of Health. The program pays special to the budget items stipulating the funding of land reclamation–livestock farming–plant-growing–etc.

The Program focuses on assistance to privatized farms–liberalization of the grain sector–privatization of bread-baking plants–development of seed and veterinary legislation as well as assistance in holding national and international tenders.

To implement the programs–the Government of Armenia is committed to develop a food security program–including an appropriate information system–to ensure the registration of all privatized agricultural lands–and to re-organize the Ministry of Agriculture in line with recent reforms and its new functions in a market based economy.

Von Stein said that EU Member States had given a favorable opinion on the possible allocation of 10 million ecues to Armenia for the year 2000 under the given program.

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