Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
The out of control import of production of Turkish green houses to Armenia and fixing of high prices by importers, hinders development of hothouse agriculture in the country, Director of the Association of Hothouses, Pogos Gevorgyan, and a farmer, deputy head of Darakert district, Varuzhan Khodedanyan, said at today's press-conference.
Khodedanyan said that only in the winter season 2011-12 Armenian customs services started completing documents for the production of hothouses arrived from Turkey. Earlier it was imported without any control. Moreover, importers dictated to fix high prices for this production, for instance, standard price for tomatoes is 1000 drams (about $2,5) per one kilogram. Meanwhile, the tariff for gas used in hothouses grew by 30% for the last year, and local hothouses cannot increase price for their production, the prime cost of which has grown, he said. Moreover, the quality of gas has fallen and if for heating of his hothouses 2,2thsd sq/m Khodedanyan spent 70 thsd sq/m of gas in winter season 2010-11, in winter season 2011-12 he spent 107thsd sq/m of gas and gas expenditure increased by 3,5 mln drams. Gevorkyan added that hothouse farms are forced to stop functioning because of unacceptable conditions of gas supply and repayment of debts to "ArmRusgasprom".
He also added that 32% of tax burden for import of equipment for hothouses also hinders extension of hothouses in the republic. For this reason, the plans of Chinese investors which were going to invest about $100 mln in the branch in Armenia as well as the plans of the Russian "Rosagrolizing" to invest 20 mln EUR were disrupted.
Khodedanyan also said that the blast which kills plants in hothouses interfered Armenia together with Turkish tomatoes. For this reason, France, Russia and Ukraine refused to import Turkish tomatoes. But 60 tonnes of Turkish vegetables and fruits are imported to Armenia every week, he said.