YEREVAN. – In the near future Armenia will launch a campaign on propaganda of organic products, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Armenia, Armen Harutyunyan, told Armenian News – NEWS.am.
Together with this, the support will continue to be provided to farmers, as well as small and medium-sized businesses wishing to produce organic food.
The European Union and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) provide 3.3 million euro support to the program.
In the first stage, support is provided to small enterprises in preparing the field, orchard or production of the organic food. For the ready-made products to appear on the table faster (if not in Europe, then at least in Armenia), the Ministry has already agreed with large supermarkets on opening organic sections. But the diversity will not be great yet: it is necessary to wait for a while.
After the preparation, a transitional period of up to three years is needed. But there are also those, who received the certificate prior to the current program. Currently, over 40 producers in Armenia have certificates, almost as many of them planning to receive them. “I hope that in 2018 we will have our own budgetary funds. We want to allocate subsidies for those, who apply for organic food certification, wishing to buy organic fertilizers or nursery plants. However, it is very important for us to rely not only on foreign but also our Armenian market. And this requires our consumers to know better about the benefit of organics, since the healthier our food is, the healthier our children are,” Harutyunyan noted.
Now the Agriculture Ministry is developing a wider program of green economy, where agro-tourism and “clean” energy will be added to organics.
The food, which has been grown without chemicals (fertilizers and spraying device), as well as their remains on the soil, is considered to be organic. In case of processed organic products (conserves, juice, etc.), not only the main but also all the rest of the ingredients (for instance, sugar) should be organic.
The demand in the local market is very small yet, the risks of cultivation being high (without chemicals the resistance to pests reduces), that is why very small amount of organics is produced in Armenia.