“Let’s Fight Against Moths” is a sign you’ll see affixed on the walls of most municipality buildings in communities throughout the Armenian provinces of Ararat and Armavir.
The pesky moths, a bane to local agriculture, have resurfaced again this year as if on cue.
If preventative measures aren’t implemented in time local farmers are hit with huge losses. Farming operations in the affected area thus hope that this year the government will act before it’s too late.
To battle the insects, the government is conducting studies to specify those areas at greatest risk, especially from potato and tomato moths, in order to install pheromone traps for monitoring.
This year, some 9,500 hectares of quick growing potato, tomato, pepper and eggplant fields will be monitored.
In April, the government allocated 27.4 million AMD for the project. In May, the Ministry of Agriculture signed a contract with the Veterinary-Sanitary Foodstuff Safety Center to install 400 traps in 2,000 hectares of potato fields in the two provinces. Another 2,500 traps will be placed throughout 7,500 hectares growing tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
The government hopes the project will cut crop damage by up to 70%.
Artour Ayvazyan, who heads the Department of Agriculture and Environment at the Armavir Provincial Administration, told Hetq that workers have been installing the traps for a week now in villages in the Etchmiadzin and Armavir areas and that the job will be finished in a day or two.
Tomorrow, the Armavir Provincial Council will issue a list of chemical insecticides that villagers must use to combat the moths.