Agricultural Concerns Addressed at Meeting with Kocharian

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–On Tuesday–President Robert Kocharian met with Agricultural Minister Tavit Lokian to discuss the various technological and economic issues that impact Armenia’s farming communities.

Prompted by the president–Lokian spoke about a number of advancemen’s to be introduced in 2005 that seek to boost crop yield through improvemen’s in irrigation technology and fertilizer quality.

President Kocharian reiterated his administration’s concern about the growing burden farmers face as a result of high interest rates on government issued loans–an issue brought to the ministry’s attention last year. Lokian assured Kocharian that the ministry is attempting to ease such problems–and that it will implement a 3 point cut in interest rates during the upcoming year.

The two men also discussed government efforts to repopulate the country’s forests–which were devastated during the years following Armenia’s independence. On the ministry’s agenda currently–is a proposal to reforest approximately 5000 hectares of land–200 of which runs adjacent to Yerevan.

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