YEREVAN — Chaired by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the two-day session of the Economic Policy Council under the Prime Minister was summarized on August 7 at the Dilijan Training and Research Center of the Central Bank of Armenia, the government press office reported.
It said on issues related to sustainable development of agriculture and food system, improvement of competitiveness of agriculture through land reforms were discussed. Deputy Minister of Economy Arman Khojoyan made reports.
The Deputy Minister referred to the Government’s vision of the sustainable development of the food system, which is aimed at the development of high-value agricultural products. strategic goals, priorities, challenges and current programs were presented. He noted that in 2021 the gross agricultural output amounted to 933 million AMD, recording an increase.
The effectiveness of the state agricultural equipment leasing program was emphasized, within the framework of which equipment is renewed by 2% per year. today there are more than 26,000 units of agricultural machinery in Armenia, and the increase in productivity in some directions, for example, in the field of export of canned fruits and vegetables is conditioned by the successful course of this program. The efficiency of intensive orchard establishment and agricultural risk insurance programs were also mentioned.
A discussion was held about the agricultural reforms of the Government and the toolkit for promoting productivity. Issues related to the tax rates applied to food products were discussed, observations and recommendations were presented.
Next, the concept of improving the competitiveness of agriculture through land reforms was presented. It was noted that it is aimed at overcoming the problems of land fragmentation, low availability of irrigation water and financial resources, poorly developed infrastructure, and the complexity of the property transfer process. For this purpose, state support programs are already in place: creation of agricultural cooperatives, subsidizing interest rates on agricultural loans, etc. It is also planned to implement a pilot project in 4 settlements using land consolidation, support for legal documentation processes through an online platform, and other tools.
The Prime Minister noted that the primary reason for the non-use of land is the lack of the land market, and the land reform should be primarily aimed at its formation. An exchange of ideas took place around the presented concept. The possible measures for the development of irrigation infrastructures, increasing the productivity of agriculture, increasing the level of land usability and options for solving existing problems were discussed.
After the discussion of the issues on the agenda, the session of the Economic Policy Council under the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia ended. Summarizing the discussions, Nikol Pashinyan noted,