YEREVAN, May 7. /ARKA/. About 8,000 tons of apricots are expected to be harvested in Armenia this year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Garnik Petrosyan said at a news conference on Wednesday.
In his words, 86,000 tons were harvested in the country in 2013 – by 12,000 tons more than what is predicted for 2014.
“Frost in March has stricken hard at apricot gardens, and therefore we expect no good crops this year,” he said.
The damage inflicted to Armenia’s agriculture by heavy snowfalls, hail and cold winds is gauged at AMD 11 billion 181 million (about $27 million), according to preliminary calculations.
Answering ARKA News Agency’s question, the deputy minister said that the total area of apricot gardens in Armenia is about 8,800 hectares, of which 6,711 hectares were severely damaged.
He said that the damage will affect canneries’ output and exports.
In 2013, apricot exports hit the record high in all the post-Soviet period – 23,000 tons of apricots were exported then against 12,000 tons in 2012.
According to the ministry’s figures provided to ARKA News Agency, the Armavir and Ararat were the most damaged provinces (3,073 and 2,515 hectares respectively). Then Aragatsotn, with its 563 hectares, Vayots Dzor, with 308 hectares, and Kotayk with 208 hectares come. -0---