YEREVAN, September 19. /ARKA/. Armenia’s agriculture minister Sergo Karapetian said studying and introduction of best agricultural practices of the EU will contribute to stepwise solution of problems in this area in Armenia as he spoke at a two-day seminar organized by EU’s TAIEX program on improving competition in the agricultural sector of Armenia through the EU experience.
Experts from Finland, Romania and Poland are sharing their experience in the field of agriculture with Armenian colleagues.
TAEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument) is an integral feature of the European Union enlargement strategy. Since 1996 TAIEX shares the expertise of EU Member State public officials with beneficiary countries to “fill the gaps” in their knowledge and understanding of EU rules and procedures through the exchange of experience and best practice – thereby fostering networks between officials in EU Member States and partner countries. TAIEX is demand-driven and delivers peer-to-peer assistance. Since 2006 it has been extended to cover the neighbourhood countries.
Minister Karapetian said that cooperation between Armenia and the EU is one of the cornerstones of Armenia’s European integration.
The minister, in particular, highlighted the problems of the efficient use of land resources, increasing the efficiency of agricultural
branches, sales of products and availability of loans.
The minister blamed higher level of poverty in the rural communities on low level of competitiveness in agriculture. The minister cited several official figures which say that the proportion of plant and animal products in Armenia’s foreign trade last year was 18.8% and 17.9% in exports. The minister said that over the last three years, the share of agriculture in the overall GDP was 17.9 percent. In 2011 the agricultural GDP amounted in terms of money to about 825 billion drams. -0-