“Our exports so far this year make up 104,000 tons, which is nearly twice as much as in the same period of last year,” Deputy Economy Minister Arman Khojoyan said in an interview with the Armenpress news agency.
Khojoyan did not specify the monetary value of those exports. He said instead that that potatoes, tomatoes and apricots accounted for three-quarters of them.
In particular, he said, Armenia exported about 29,000 tons of potatoes, compared with less than 10,000 tons exported in the whole of 2020. He also reported sizable increases in both the volume and price of Armenian apricots sold abroad.
Khojoyan attributed the sharp gains to this spring’s favorable weather conditions.
They were followed by an unusually hot and dry weather in June. The resulting drought has reportedly had a severe impact on cereal and vegetable crops.
Scores of farmers in various Armenian regions have staged angry protests in the last two weeks against a serious lack of irrigation water supplied to their agricultural land.
The drought has also adversely affected pastures across the country. According to news reports, Armenian farmers dependent on animal husbandry are planning to cull their livestock en masse because of a lack of hay.
Government officials have not yet estimated the drought’s likely impact on Armenian agricultural output in 2021.
Agriculture generates roughly one-fifth of Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product.
Khojoyan said that Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) remain the principal market for Armenian agricultural exports.
“We operate in the common market,” the official told Armenpress. “It’s been a while since we started regarding our market not as a 3 million market reflecting the size of Armenia’s population but as a 184 million market encompassing the whole EEU.”