On January 13, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Artsakh, Jirayr Mirzoyan convened a working consultation. The subject of discussion was the problems arising from and anticipated as a result of prolonged drought in the field. The heads of agricultural departments of the republic administration, agro-specialists, other responsible persons of the field were invited to the consultation.
“The drought of the fall months and the first half of winter does not promise a good future for autumn sowing. Unfavorable climatic conditions can cause serious economic problems, " said J. Mirzoyan. There has been a severe shortage of precipitation in the country, which has led to damage of large areas, especially in the area of grain. The picture is mostly sad in the areas of earlier autumn sowing. There are also lands prepared for autumn sowing in the country, which have not been sown due to adverse climatic conditions.
The experts presented the extent of damage, the degree of pest infestation in different regions and sub-regions, and their proposals to fight them. The Minister inquired about the organization of the fight and learned that all regions were provided with the necessary materials to fight pests.
According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Artsakh Vilen Avetisyan, 75 thousand hectares of land is planned under the crop of 2020, which is 9% or 6000 hectares more than last year. In the aforementioned areas, 67 thousand 512 hectares were sown (compared with the previous year the sowing areas increased by 5%). According to preliminary data, drought affected areas are 14,445 hectares. Pest infested areas make up 5120 hectares. “Over 2000 hectares of pests have been fought. There are widespread and mainly developing wheat flies and beetles. There are relatively few rodents,” said V. Avetisyan.
“Climate conditions around the world have caused significant damage not only to agriculture but also to the ecology. There is a situation in the sphere of agriculture in Artsakh that we are faced with the problem of making a serious decision,” said the minister. J. Mirzoyan noted that during the past two years there was also a lack of precipitation, which led to decrease in humidity, but this year the situation is more serious. Drought affected areas are also found in foothills and mountain zones, which are rare in the republic.
Experts have noted that as a result of global warming, drought may become the norm, and under such conditions a more effective strategy and policy for farming should be adopted.
Botanist, Doctor, Professor Artak Ghulyan, who was present at the consultation, expressed his opinion of being against the increase of sowing areas, as the crop rotation in these areas would create difficulties. He is also against the implementation of double sowing in dry conditions, especially in years of drought. He considers the double sowing justified only in the fight against insects, for which he considers crop circulation as the most effective means. He thinks that it is necessary to give special attention to the crop circulation of forage crops. The scientist considers injections to be effective in the fight against insects.
In order to save sowing in the current situation, he thinks it is necessary first of all to rotate the soil with small toothed ropes, as well as to provide nitrogen feed. In the case of autumn sowing, it is advisable to give up deep sowing and move to the shallow sowing. According to Ghulyan, the issue of preparation for cultivation should be radically revised. "After the autumn harvest, the land must be cultivated in a superficial manner, after which conditions should be created for the autumn to be completed within the required timeframe," underlined A. Ghulyan.
Specialists in the field of agriculture agreed that an immediate solution should be given to the operation of existing reservoirs and the construction of new reservoirs. In such arid climatic conditions, problems can also occur concerning artesian wells. The issue was also touched upon by J. Mirzoyan. "According to the latest data we have recorded that there is no water in the Khachen reservoir at all. We have filtration, evaporation in the reservoir, but the water level is at zero. If the precipitation does not increase in the coming days, we will also have serious environmental problems here, ”the minister added.
At the end of the consultation Jirayr Mirzoyan instructed the heads of the departments to conduct observations within a week, meet with land users to get acquainted and discuss the situation, after which a new discussion will be organized in the ministry, a final decision will be made.