YEREVAN, October 11. /ARKA/. Farms in Armenia should merge into cooperatives more intensively, Sarkis Sedrakyan, chairman of the Farmer Movement nongovernmental organization, said Friday at a news conference.
“Land cultivation on small areas in Armenia is not effective, and therefore farms should merge into cooperatives to enhance their labor efficiency,” he said adding that there are 315,000 farms in Armenia now.
In his opinion, cooperatives will make it possible to cut expenses, to lower prime costs of products and to enhance productivity of the cultivated land.
Sedrakyan said that the government, on its side, should provide comprehensive support to new cooperatives by providing them agricultural machinery for free and seeds, fertilizers and diesel at preferential prices in the first year.
The expert also finds it necessary to revise terms of lending to farms. In particular, interest rates on preferential agricultural loans should be lowered from the present 14% to 5%, and maturity term should be prolonged to five years.
On April 1, 2011, the government decided to subsidize 4% of 14-percent interest rate on agricultural loans. The total amount of subsidies is AMD 200 million.
These loans are extended in Armenian drams. An average amount of one loan is AMD 625,000.
Grace period lasts six months, after which only interests are paid and other payments are made within the next six months.
There are 3,737 industrial and 307 consumer cooperatives in Armenia now. ($1 – AMD 407.50). ---0---