President Sarkissian met with the heads of a number of food processing companies: develop relations with the North, at the same time, create new markets on the South
President Armen Sarkissian received today the heads of a number of food processing companies.
The meeting was attended by the Director General of Ararat Snndi Kombinat Ltd. Ervand Tarverdian, Director of Nairi Food Ltd. Tamara Tadevossian, Director General of Evroterm Ltd. (Noayn juices) Vahe Ghazarian, Director General of Artfood Ltd. Vachagan Karapetian, Director of SIL plant of mineral waters Vahagn Alexanian, and Director of Biga Ltd. Arthur Tigranian.
The President of Armenia stressed that food production is of critical importance especially during the pandemic and in post-pandemic period of time and noted in particular, “The area you work in – agriculture, food production and supply - have always been very important and critical but nowadays they’ve become even more important.” Noting the pivotal importance of the area for Armenia, President Sarkissian stressed especially the issue of food security. “This is not about biological or sanitary cleanness which is also very important. For Armenia, food security is quite a different issue. In this given case, it is first and foremost about the development of agriculture in general, which means efficiency, how we use our land, how effective the administration is.”
According to the President, food security means not only production of certain goods of the adequate quality and quantity, but also implies trade and transportation of a certain amount of produce through the territory of the Republic of Armenia. “Under the current conditions, it is impossible to store in huge amounts agricultural goods which we do not produce. Warehouses are needed. What are the solutions? In my opinion, solutions lie first of all in increasing our capabilities, international ties with the region. It will allow to export our goods on a larger scale, and, at the same time, will allow to import. Russia is our strategic partner, countries of Eurasian area are our partners, there is no doubt about that. Thus, my vision is the following: to develop, double what is there to take to the North, but also create new markets on the South. South means the countries of the Persian Gulf which have food security issues.” President Sarkissian noted that any country has food security issues.
“The world is changing, and logistics become more difficult,” the President said. “Conditioned by the pandemic and geopolitical changes, many of old ties will not work any longer, new ties should be created. This is a new situation, and Armenia should have the opportunity to make supplies on a number of directions, also doubling the amount of exported and imported goods.”
The President said that enhanced efficiency of agriculture is fundamental for the area’s development. “It is certainly a difficult issue related to new technologies, know-how, market, and demography,” President Sarkissian said. “On one hand, it seems that there are many unemployed, on the other hand, in the area of agriculture there are uncultivated lands. In the problems related to the entire chain of land-demography-unemployment-labor organization there is an important link – food processing and distribution. You work in that area, and you face multiple problems related to the domestic and foreign markets.”
The entrepreneurs spoke of the pandemic’s impact on the area and mentioned a number of issues related to food security and agriculture, efficient use of land, state support to the area of agriculture and farmers, cooperation between the state and private sector.
They underscored in particular that in Armenia this area possesses great potential for development and with due attention it will be possible not only to increase production but also create new opportunities for the farmers.
The President of Armenia viewed as important hearing about the problems and receiving proposals aimed at the development of the area particularly from the individuals engaged in the area and expressed readiness to help. He stressed the importance of creating new platforms aimed at assisting small enterprises, creation of new markets, and making Armenia a trade crossroad.