YEREVAN, February 4. /ARKA/. Armenia announced today plans to allow cultivation of industrial hemp as agricultural commodity.
Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said during a government meeting on Thursday that Russia, USA and China have a fairly positive experience of growing industrial hemp.
According to him, the government has drafted a preliminary concept and regulations to legalize production of industrial hemp. In his words, this will make farmers to use agricultural land that stands idle now.
“About 40% of the agricultural land in Armenia is not used. We will support this and other plans envisaging cultivation of crops with high yield and value,” Avinyan said.
For his part, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted that cultivation of industrial hemp can cause numerous abuses and ‘this is why it is important that these plans be presented as correctly as possible so that the society understands what they are about.’
“Unfortunately, when people say ‘hemp’ they mean something else, but it is a very important agricultural commodity. There are risks, but there are clear risk management mechanisms and they have already been tested in other countries,” Pashinyan said.
Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan noted that the Seed Agency and law-enforcement agencies will ensure full control over cultivation of industrial hemp.
He also noted that the hemp cultivation program envisages new sub-investment programs that will create non-agricultural jobs in rural communities.