Vegetable growing is among the priority sub sectors of the Armenian agriculture and has a history and traditions of thousand years. Armenia has large diversity of vegetable varieties due to favorable geographical location and agro-ecological conditions.
The main types of vegetables are tomato, cucumber, cabbage, onion, eggplant, radish, carrot, garlic, estragon, asparagus, spinach, pepper, bean, cauliflower, turnip, garden radish, parsley, cilantro, basil, and others. Meanwhile, both fresh and processed non-traditional vegetables are also demanded with their high nutrient and medical values. These include – from Brassiceceae – Brussels sprout, Chinese cabbage, Beijing cabbage as well as broccoli and kohlrabi, and from foliacea – different form and color lettuces.
Areas under vegetable crops increased considerably during 2005-2007. In 2008, there was a slight decline in areas of almost all types of vegetables, except from carrot (no change) and garlic (40 ha more harvested area). The most produced type of vegetable is tomato (25-30% of total vegetable area). Eggplant, pepper and different types of greens, account 24-28%, whereas cabbage and cucumber occupy 15-16% and 9-11% of total vegetable area respectively.
Areas under vegetable production expanded due to development of processing industry. Availability of canneries minimizes farmer’s uncertainty of not being able to realize the produced vegetable. On the other hand, Armenian farmers also export some vegetables, such as cucumber, tomato, garlic and onion. Hence, more production is needed to satisfy both local and foreign markets of fresh and processed vegetables.
The gross harvest of vegetables increased as a result of both expansion of growing area and high yielding capacity. During 2005-2009, the yield of tomato increased by 6,8 ton/hectare. Cucumber and cabbage recorded 5 and 4,6 ton increase respectively. The most significant change in yielding capacity is obvious in case of carrot – 9,2 tons per hectare.
In Ararat and Armavir regions, the areas under vegetable crops as a second yield during a season have increased. These crops include cauliflower, vegetable soybean, beans, squash, cucumber, lettuce and others. Meanwhile, the geographical location and climatic conditions of Armenia are favorable for vegetable growing in greenhouses which provides high yield. Therefore, high demanded vegetables, such as tomato, cucumber and pepper, are grown in heated and sun-heated greenhouses to supply customers throughout the year.
1. “Food Security and Poverty, January – June 2010’’, National Statistical Service of Armenia, August 21, 2010, available online at www.armstat.am
2. “Area Under Agricultural Crops and Gross Harvest for 2009”, National Statistical Service of Armenia, March 12, 2010; available online at www.armstat.am
3. S. Avetisyan “Agriculture and food processing in Armenia”, Limush Publishing House, Yerevan 2010, pages 40-41