Prices on agricultural products rise in Armenia

30 August 2018 16:53 (UTC+04:00)

By Sara Israfilbayova

The decision of the Government of Georgia to ban the import or export of wheat or wheat-rye flour on road transport since September 15 will lead to an inevitable rise in prices for bread and bakery products in Armenia.

Chairman of the Armenian Union of Agrarians and Peasants Grach Berberyan said that the initiative of the Georgian side will affect the price of wheat imported to Armenia.

“According to our calculations, transportation costs will increase by $50-60, as a result, bakery products will rise in price in Armenia by 10-15 percent. But, as far as the price of bakery products actually increases, it also depends not only on the conscientiousness of importers, but also on bread producers,” he said.

Georgia is the only transit country for Armenia in terms of grain imports. Armenia currently buys wheat mainly from Russia and realizes supplies via transit through Georgian territory.

Armenia has a grain fund and it can provide the population for several weeks. And the matter is what will further save Armenia from starvation when the reserves run out.

Armenia’s illegal territorial claims to its neighbors and the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan are the very factors why Armenia is in such a difficult and desperate situation.

Moreover, the other day, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made a detour around GUM market to get acquainted with the prices on agricultural products. He received alarming signals about the increase in prices for agricultural products.

The situation is paradoxical. It is unclear how the price for tomatoes can range from 150 to 1,000 drams, for pears from 300 to 2,000 drams, when it comes to a small market, such as Armenia. Arguments are standard - drought, society has no purchasing power, a small crop and so on. It is clear that the government does not have direct levers of influence on pricing.

In addition to developing strategic issues and a vision of the country’s development, Pashinyan faces the need to quickly solve a number of problems. The sphere of agricultural production is only one of them.

On the other hand, the global problem is a purchasing power of society. Regardless of how Pashinyan announces his unprecedented economic activity, it still does not affect the population’s living standard.

Price rise against the background of falling incomes of the population in Armenia can lead to an economic catastrophe.

Although the authorities are trying to cover the economic shocks in the country in a decent digestible for the public wrapper, the scale of the problem actually promises to go far beyond any decency.

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Sara Israfilbayova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Sara_999Is

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