Sargis Sedrakyan: Armenia’s agriculture in poor condition
“Armenia’s agriculture is in poor condition. The Ministry of Agriculture says that everything is ok, agriculture develops, villages improve, villagers live in good conditions, but actually the situation is quite different: villagers are unhappy, agriculture degrades,” head of Farmers’ Movement NGO Sargis Sedrakyan told a news conference in Yerevan.
According to Sedrakyan, wrong agricultural policy resulted in polarization in villages, with several wealthy villagers owning land and too many poor people.
There are few agricultural lands in Armenia, which is not rich in soil as it is. Only 560,000 hectares of land are cultivated in Armenia, said Sedrakyan.
“We witness the degradation of land fund, with soil undergoing erosion. Armenia faces the risk of desertification,” the expert said and added that Armenia signed the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification but it does not observe the provisions of the convention.
“According to official data, 37-40 percent of cultivated lands are not seeded. But if we conduct studies, this number will rise to 60-70 percent,” Sedrakyan concluded.
The sides discussed a range of issues concerning Armenian-Iranian energy cooperation. They underlined the importance of joint projects, in particular the project on construction of the 3rd high-voltage transmission line between Armenia and Iran and financial issues related to the project were considered.