Armenia’s Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to halt the import of Turkish tomatoes and cucumbers after local growers raised the issue at an advisory meeting organized by the ministry.
Poghos Gevorgyan, president of Armenia’s Hothouse Association, says that imported Turkish tomatoes are no longer being sold at Yerevan’s sprawling Malatya Market, adding that some inventory is periodically being sold.
Minister of Agriculture Ignaty Arakelyan said that local state agencies cannot solve the issue by themselves and called on NGOs to participate in the process.
Food Safety Service chief Ishkhan Karapetyan proposed the creation of a civic group comprised of Hothouse Association members that would draft a petition urging the State Revenue Committee to conduct spot inspections in the marketplace.
Minister Arakelyan said steps must be taken to ensure that local produce remains competitive, suggesting that growers diversify their crop.
Karapetyan called on hothouse growers to maintain quality control and not abuse pesticides in the run-up to the holiday season when demand for agricultural produce peaks.