Armenia Needs $23 Million for Drought Relief

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The recent drought inflicted a $40,000,000 damage on Armenia’s agriculture–grain and fodder crops being the most damaged. At the September 20 hearing organized by the Parliamentary Standing Committee for State and Legal Affairs–Minister of Agriculture Zaven Gevorgian said that as a result of lack of water–harvest was not gathered from 36,000 of 100,000 hectares of sown area. In an area of 64,000 hectares only 50-60 percent of the harvest were gathered. Gevorgian said that as a result of the drought–grain harvest will be 100-120 thousand tons less–and in whole will make up about 200-220 thousand tons. The damage is expected to total $13,000,000.

Gevorgian pointed out that the drought inflicted a serious damage on 8,000 hectares of potatoes. The average potatoes yield from one hectare will make up 90 centers. The potatoes yield is expected to be 90,000 tons less which is a damage of $10.5 million To eliminate the aftermath of the drought and lack of water–a program of measures has been elaborated and submitted to the government. The program indicates the use of water from wells–which means the operation of pump stations will beat full capacity. Also mentioned is the introduction of an insurance system in the agricultural sector. The Ministry of Agriculture provided a reference to the government. According to the reference–500 tons of early-maturing seed potatoes must be imported–and 1000-1200 tons of seed wheat must be purchased from the populations and supplied to the regions that suffered from the drought. It is also pointed out in the reference that for a sharp decrease in livestock population to be avoided 60,000 tons of forage must be imported.

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