Than not hit the Armenian grapes? Farmers and wine producers in a stupor

Karine Harutyunyan, Sputnik

The “fruits” of the coronavirus this year seem to be as abundant as the harvest of grapes. Unlike previous years, the grape harvest has been good. However, the villagers fear that the rich harvest may remain uncollected due to problems with procurement.

Against the background of economic crisis the consumption and export of wine has decreased, which naturally affected the procurement process this year. Sputnik Armenia conversed with the experts of the sector, processing companies and farmers to get a General idea about the problem.

The harvest is rich but the villagers concerned

43-year-old resident of Ararat region Ruben Kirakossian looking forward to when buyers are “knocking at the door.”

“We take loan is based on at what price will sell the grapes, and begin to cultivate the fields. Because the only way to survive the winter. But now there is this virus and “ruined” all of us. We understand that the work of the winemakers got up, the income is small, but, unfortunately, the crop this year rich. I’m afraid he will remain in the gardens,” says Kirakosyan.

He hoped that winemakers will come to the question of conscience and asks for a meager amount for the purchase of grapes. Kirakosyan said that he took a loan from calculate to sell 1 kg at least 150 AMD, but rumor has it that buyers will offer much less.

The President of the National center of wine Avag Harutyunyan notes with regret that this year, compared with last year, wine consumption decreased by 50%, which can not affect the procurement. According to him, this does not mean that grapes will not be sold or remain uncollected in orchards, just this year the product will be purchased at a price at least 20% cheaper.

© Sputnik / Aram Nersesyan ,
Collection and purchase of grapes in the village of Aghavnadzor

“The problem is that we have no empty containers, to purchase the grapes. In addition there are sufficient funds to pay for it. On the other hand, the volume of wine exports decreased by 40%. Despite all this, the winemakers are more resistant to cope. But the villagers, the situation is much more difficult,” – said Harutyunyan.

The plants are not in a hurry in procurement

The head of the community Ararat Marz Taperakan Karen Khachatryan is pleased with the results of the harvest this year: against tons of the crop last year will now be collected 1 ton 400 pounds. In Taperakan has already begun the process of signing contracts for the purchase, but if last year the villagers signed an agreement with 6-7 plants, but this year the proposal is received from only two.

“At the moment the contract is signed only Vedi Alco and Chevansky plant. In addition, the latter, for example, halved the number of contracts. If the new company does not appear, then we will not realize our entire harvest on only those two plants,” said Khachatryan.

He reported that the plants have not yet bid on the purchased grapes. Probably waiting to bid at the beginning they were large enterprises.

Director Arashikage brewery Razmik Tevanyan says they have already started to sign contracts with growers in the villages Surenavan, Armash, Aralez, nor kyank and Vosketap. The plant is ready to buy this year 300 tons of grapes, while last year the volume of purchases amounted to 1,000 tons.

“Wine consumption in this year was low, but the state made a good offer to winemakers, offering interest-free loans for two years. Taking advantage of this, we will purchase, perhaps even at the level of more than 300 tons,” said Tevanian.

As for the prices of grapes if the wine producers will be able to maintain last year’s cost – 140-150 drams per kilogram, that is a great success.

© Sputnik / Aram Nersesyan ,
Collection and purchase of grapes in the village of Aghavnadzor

The decision is delayed

Former Deputy Minister of agriculture of Armenia, Garnik Petrosyan considers that it is necessary first to discuss the problem at the level of the first persons of the country, and to use all possible means to collect all the grapes.

“From a moral point of view it would be wrong for the farmers worked, producing crops, and the buyer was not. Regardless of whether possible or not, the problem should be finally solved. You must discuss the issue with customers, assess their options, to calculate the amount of grapes to be ready to purchases,” says Petrosyan.

If we do not find solutions, not to discuss, then there is quite a tense situation.

As reported by us press Secretary of the Minister of economy Anna Ohanyan, the Ministry has already discussed the issue of procurement with the wine producers.

“In order to avoid problems in the program of state support for procurement changes,” said Ohanyan.

She added that in the coming days, will update what they will report in more detail.

And what will the situation really is and if it comes to protest of farmers will become clear in the middle of this month.

Read original article in Russian language here.