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YEREVAN. – At its Cabinet meeting on Thursday, the government of Armenia approved the 2019-2023 state assistance program for the development of sheep and goat breeding in the country.

The matter was presented by Deputy Minister of Economy Avag Avanesyan. He noted that this domain is considered a high-potential domain, and the current situation in this domain suggests that this potential can be tapped in the coming years.

In his words, sheep and sheep meat exports from Armenia have increased considerably this year, and the price of sheep meat has risen by about 50 percent, as last year it was $74, whereas in the middle of this year—$101.

The deputy minister added that as a result of this strategic program, it is envisaged to acquire 30 thousand sheep.

Minister of Environment Erik Grigoryan chimed in that if this is a strategic program, one should also consider whether or not it should undergo environmental assessment because there is a risk that sheep breeding leads to desertification and degradation.

“Shall we do an EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] again?” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan asked jokingly.

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan responded that since at this point the matter is about a component of this strategic program, there is no such need.

“These amounts are not to the extent to pose an environmental threat,” he added.

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