Nikol Pashinyan: “Agricultural year should be made as predictable as possible”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a consultative meeting to discuss the ongoing preparations for the agricultural season. In particular, questions were raised about the activities of anti-hail systems, the deployment of anti-hail networks, the provision of seeds, fertilizers, irrigation water, control of plant diseases and pests, harvesting and exports. Reports were delivered by the heads of competent government departments. They noted that that the government will implement targeted programs to implement drip irrigation systems, anti-hail networks, and agricultural insurance systems.
Nikol Pashinyan noted that the relevant government officials should make the agricultural year as predictable as possible for the government, farmers and processing companies so that everyone understands what to do during the season. “All predicted problems of the year should be coordinated at the interagency level, starting with irrigation, the anti-hail situation, ending with insurance and supply so that we could move forward within a predictable framework. It is not until by the end of year that we find out what has happened and why, but all this needs be done at the beginning of the year. It is obviously a problem when the assessment of water demand changes three times a year or a month. We should have a roadmap from the very beginning of the year; we should move forward with concrete steps and ensure a certain level of predictability. It is clear that the forecasts are not 100%, there may be different instances, but they should be guidelines for our work and activities,” the Prime Minister stressed.
Acting Minister of Territorial Administration and Development Suren Papikyan reported that in the period from November 1 to December 25, 2018, a relevant task force, established by virtue of an order issued by the Prime Minister, managed to sign 4,500 more contracts with water user societies in Ararat Valley alone, with 600 further contracts signed in other regions of Armenia. The acting minister noted that this year specific measures will be taken to ensure more effective control over the use of water resources.
Nikol Pashinyan instructed those responsible to take all necessary measures to organize the irrigation season and ensure regular water supply. The Prime Minister noted the importance of awareness raising efforts as regards the potential problems and the ways of addressing them beforehand, as well as the effective organization of agricultural activities.