DAMAGED SOWING AREAS IN SHIRAK MARZ IN URGENT NEED OF FERTILIZATION WHICH NOT YET POSSIBLE

Noyan Tapan
May 18 2006

GYUMRI, MAY 18, NOYAN TAPAN. The areas sown with spring crops were
partly harmed by frost in Shirak marz in late April. Movses Manukian,
head of the agriculture department of the regional administration,
told NT correspondent that 8 communities have already expressed
their concern over this fact. In 3 communities, the sowing areas were
damaged by 20%. The main damage was done to gardens (there are a few
of them in the marz), the areas under autumn wheat have not been
harmed at all, while last year's sowing areas are in a much worse
state. The damaged areas are in urgent need of fertilization, but
the marz has not yet received nitric fertilizer. Shirak marz needs 10
tons of nitric fertilizer annually, but the government provides only
2 thousand tons. There are problems with agricultural machinery as
well: according to M. Manukian, the tractors currently used for land
cultivation not only in the marz but also in the whole country are
depreciated and obsolete. Those responsible have a hope that grain
harvesters will be imported into Armenia and Shirak marz in the near
future. However, these officials do not entertain particular hopes
about operation of anti-hail stations.