Ararat, farm development, Yerevan, grapes, livestock
Agriculture grew in importance in Armenia as the country’s industrial base declined. Principal crops include fruits and vegetables grown on the Ararat plain in southwestern Armenia, irrigated by water from the Aras River. Potatoes, grain, and livestock are raised in the uplands. Armenia is noted for the quality of its fruits, and grapes grown near Yerevan are made into well-regarded brandy and various liqueurs.
During the Soviet era farms in Armenia were organized into state-run operations. Following independence, the government quickly turned most of the farmland over to private operators. Production initially increased as farmers were rewarded for gains in output. But agriculture, too, fell victim to the country’s economic decline. Blockades prevented farmers from exporting their products, and farm development suffered from a lack of fuel, insufficient irrigation water, and the absence of bank credits to buy fertilizers and equipment.
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