Agricultural development in 1975-1987. Some details and figures.

image In Kalinino region. 1985. Agricultural policy implied the intensification of already functioning entities along with the expansion of irrigated areas, introduction of scientific achievements, elaboration of selection works, development of cattle and poultry farms, fish breeding etc.

The agrarian-industrial enterprises were developed along with their infrastructure: logistics, repair and overhaul bases, transport facilities, management training, scientific and research institutes etc.

More than 3000 affiliate industrial enterprises were opened in rural areas.
Some innovative economic methods were introduced such as leasing out land to family farms and expansion of personal subsidiary plots. In 1987 the output of agricultural production in the individual sector grew by 70% against that of 1970.

Much attention was attended to frontier and mountain areas because of their strategic importance. The migrants to these regions were granted financial aid and the salaries here were twice the soviet average. The necessary social and cultural amenities were provided.

image "Mars" factory. By the year 1987 the share of cultivated land grew from 4.8% to 9.8-10% and this indicator was expected 20% in the near future.

More than 2700 hectarеs of alkali soil were desalted in Ararat valley.

During the construction of storage reservoirs the fertile soil was transported and used for planting orchards and vineyards (3.1 thousand hectares).

The tankodrome was moved to idle lands and its fertile territory (16 thousand hectares) was used to build the Baghramyan district with its orchards and vineyards.

The dispute with Azerbaijan over the borders of land-use was settled and Armenia got additional 14551 hectares along its Noyemberyan-Meghri borderline.

The overall irrigated area increased by 22 thousand hectares. The newly constructed (1300km) and reconstructed irrigation network spread over the entire country.

It was planned to build 16 storage reservoirs with an overall capacity of 1 billion cubic metres. Of this project were accomplished and began to operate the reservoirs of Akhuryan, Halvar, Herher, Shamshadin, Azat, Joghaz, Kechut, Sevaberd, Tsilkar and Karaglukh. The amount of water stored in these reservoirs exceeded the indicator of 1975 by several times.

image The "Kechut" water resevoir. In the years 1975-80 5532 hectares of orchards and 5043 hectares of vineyards were planted.

850 hectares of newly cultivated land in Ashtarak and Nairi regions were planted with apple trees. 6 varieties of apple each of which had a name of its own people called "Demirchyan apples".

An all-time high amount of grape was harvested in 1981: 365 thousand tons (the previous maximum equalled to 228 thousand tons). For 13 consecutive years Armenia ranked first in Transcaucasia in grape yields per hectare: 84.5 centners. Not a single grapevine was destroyed during the anti-alcohol campaign in 1986.

Armenia also embarked on a large program of development of farming complexes with their greenhouses. 350 of the planned 1000 hectares were built during Demirchyan's tenure.

Until 1975 the agricultural indicators of Armenia were among the lowest in the Soviet Union. In 1980-s the country broke through and ranked among the first three in productivity. The level of agricultural development in 1980-s was the highest during the whole history of Armenia. From a mainly industrial country Armenia turned into an industrial and agricultural republic.