Agriculture Again Slows Armenian Growth

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s economic recovery further slowed down last month due to a persistent decline in agricultural production and in the construction sector, the latest official statistics show.

According to the National Statistical Service (NSS), the Armenian economy grew by 2.8 percent in January-September in contrast to a 3.1-percent growth posted for the first eight months of 2009.

The growth was again dragged down by construction and particularly the agricultural sector. Like in the statistics for January-August, agriculture continued to show an 18-percent year-on-year decline in September.

Bagrat Asatrian, a former Central Bank governor critical of the Armenian authorities, said at a press conference on Thursday that the situation in agriculture will still continue to affect Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product growth in the time to come.

“Our village and our agriculture depend more on God than on any program. That’s the reality,” he said. “Circumstances bode ill for the village and we will be reaping these fruits until the end of the year.”

Last month, speaking about agriculture in an interview with RFE/RL, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian also suggested “looking to God” for answers.

“You should go to church and pray to God. Is there a person in the world who can say what is going to happen to agriculture? Now it is very difficult to make forecasts as to what will the climate conditions be during the sowing campaigns this autumn or next spring. But it is obvious that we are carrying out most serious reforms in our agriculture,” said Sargsian.

Late last month the International Monetary Fund revised downwards its growth projection for Armenia to 4 percent.

The Fund’s resident representative in Yerevan Guillermo Tolosa said on September 29 they had revised their projections “because the extent of the shock to the agricultural sector had not been anticipated in our previous missions.”

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5 Comments

  1. amb said:

    Can’t our compatriots in Fresno and the California central valley, with all the years of experience in agriculture, do something for the farmers in Armenia? I don’t mean charity and good-will, but actual, real work on the ground, helping them with irrigation techniques for example, or even buying their fruits and vegetables and selling them here in the States, or some other country. Helping them so they don’t have to rely on supernatural powers for their livelihood! Helping them to at least come up to the 20th century, never mind the 21st.

    This is what we have to be embarrassed about as a nation, not the actions of a bunch of thugs who tried to cheat the US government out of money, but the situation on the ground of our farmers in Armenia. This is a good cause for shame not the criminals’ actions.

    • Aram said:

      Our compatriots in Fresno are helping Armenian farmers for many years now. The efforts of ATG have benefited Armenia and Karapagh. Don’t be quick to judge until you know all the facts about the Diaspora helping the motherland. Wha have you done for Armenia? There is another group in Boston that plants trees in Armenia to re-populate the forests, just to let you know before you start bashing the diasporan Armenians for not helping Armenian forests..Get your facts straight.

      Aram the Farmer from Fresno

  2. Random Armenian said:

    I wonder how global warming is going to impact Armenian farmers in the coming decades. Armenia needs to diversify its industries.

  3. Art Markarian said:

    Armenia need to get into value added of its agricultural products. Developing its wine industry for example makes sense. Selling wine to Russia makes more sense then selling grapes alone. Also the redevelopment of a sugar industry is vital to rural poverty.

  4. Tigran said:

    jes kartsom em vor hajastani hanrapetotionä avli shat oshadrotion petk e dartsne gjuxatntesutianä ev voch te kaxakneri shekoxutian.
    uzä hoxits e galis!

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