Saturday, July 02, 2005

I’m in Martuni!!!

It was a long trip with our taxi’s transmission acting up. No acting up is an understatement. Basically the 4-speed transmission didn’t have 4th gear.

On top of this, one of the passengers who happened to also be from Martuni, but was going to Stepanagert, had to stop in to pick something from some factory on the way which was suppose to take 5 minutes, but took almost an hour.

We got into Martuni 4 hours late.

Anyway, I here to take care of issues related to my wedding and once that is done, I’m back to Yerevan to meet guests at the airport.

Things in Martuni have not changed.

The wheat harvest is going strong, though it seems like the yield per hector is not all that great.

Just before the harvest began, the price of wheat was 90 dram a kilo. When the harvest began, it dropped to 50 to 60 dram a kilo.

The price of diesel is now up to 6,000 dram for 20 liters.

Last year, the price of diesel from what I remember was less than 5,000 dram for 20 liters and wheat was selling for 120 dram a kilo.

So this year the yield is less, the price of wheat is less and the costs are more. And what is even worse for me is that when the price of wheat is low, many people store their wheat to wait for the price to rise, though I’m told that they are selling as they have debts to repay and have no choice.

This is a bad year for wheat farmers and probably worse for Armenian farmers, as there is a good chance that the low price as been artificially set by a few people who are out to make a killing and are willing to sacrifice the common farmer, who is just trying to feed their family.

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