YEREVAN, January 21. / ARKA /. Higher price of natural gas effective from last July 7, is a serious obstacle to greenhouses in Armenia, according to Poghos Gevorkyan, head of the Association of Armenian Greenhouses.
Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission allowed last July 7 to raise the price of one cubic meters of natural gas to 156 drams from the previous 132 drams. Electricity price also rose from 30 drams per one Kw/h to 38 drams.
Speaking at a news conference, he said the price hike has especially affected small greenhouses, forcing many to shut down.
Gevorgyan explained that greenhouses’ incomes depend on output, but they have to pay for used gas on a monthly basis, which creates financial difficulties for them.
He could not say how many greenhouses had to shut down, saying only that in 2013 there were about 950 operating greenhouses on a total area of about 130-140 hectares. He said now the area declined by about 12 hectares.
According to the ministry of agriculture, last year tomato output declined by approximately 5000 tons to about 260,000 tons. -0-