YEREVAN, February 20. /ARKA/. A new program worth $459,000 has started in Armenia to support vegetable seed farming, assistant to representative of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Armenia Gayane Nasoyan said Thursday.
The program aims at laying basis for viable and stable production of certified seeds based on own resources.
The 20-month program will be implemented by FAO together with Armenia’s ministry of agriculture and will be coordinated by Vahan Amirkhanyan on behalf of FAO Yerevan office and deputy minister Garnik Petrosyan on behalf of the ministry of agriculture, Nasoyan said.
Amirkhanyan said the program will aim, first of all, at expanding capacities of the scientific center for vegetables and commercial crops and increasing production of seeds of local varieties in particular.
Today the center meets about 5-7% of seed demand in Armenia; some 20-25% is imported and origin country of the remaining part is unknown, Amirkhanyan said.
Under the program, local seed production capacity is expected to increase by about 20%, he said.
The program envisages also introduction of the required equipment, he added.
The 2005 law about seeds is expected to be revised to protect local producers’ rights and reduce quantity of poor-quality seeds in the market.
Deputy minister of agriculture Garnik Petrosyan said at the meeting the program will help promote vegetable production and create a reliable basis for increased yields.
The project is implemented as part of the 2010-2014 seed production program envisaging imports of elite wheat varieties so that 3,000-3,500 tons of elite wheat is available for distribution among farmers by 2014.
Armenia consumes 650-720,000 tons of cereals every year, of it 435-450,000 tons for food purposes. Deficit is made up by imports that amounted to 380-420,000 tons per year in the last five years. –0—