Aragatzotn Villagers Block Highway to Protest Falling Wholesale Milk Prices
Residents of some twenty villages in Armenia’s Aragatzotn Province closed the Aparan-Yerevan highway this morning for several hours to protest the falling prices offered by dairy companies for their milk.
Those blocking the highway say that while wholesale milk prices have usually dropped in past years, the price drop has been more pronounced this year.
They say they are being offered 110-130 drams per liter as opposed to the previous 180 drams by the major milk buying companies Marianna, Ashtarak Kat and Ani.
Harutyun Harutyunyan, a resident of Norashen, appealed to newly-elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resolve the matter.
“Dear prime minister, the price paid for our milk has dropped 40% in the past 15-20 days. That’s why the people of Aragatz have closed the highway, so the news reaches you. You said that if there were monopolies, the people should inform you. We’re doing so,” Harutyunyan said to reporters on the scene.
Residents say that if the price they are getting for their milk has dropped by 40%, the retail price for yogurt, milk and sour cream should drop by 40% as well, but it hasn’t.
The milk producers say the companies buying their milk haven’t explained why prices have dropped so much.
They promise to continue their protests if prices don’t revert to prior levels.
The Ministry of Agriculture has invited local milk producers to a meeting to discuss the matter.