Highway Colors

Author: Anushik Avetyan

Edition: Bazaar

The highway bazaars of Armenia, which one can see when travelling to the South or to North-West of Yerevan, are common in Armenia. However the most colorful ones are on the Yerevan-Syunik and Yerevan-Geghard roads. While the first is famous for its vegetable small "bazaars," on the wayback to Geghard, you can buy homemade foodstuff, the notable of which is gata (a traditional sweet), preserved and dried fruits. Because of the poor social conditions, people prefer to sell the harvest on or near the roads of their houses and gardens.

The renovation works currently in process on the North-South highway have affected the sales of the harvest.
The number one product in the summer days is the corn.
70 year-old Gurgen used to work in hydrometeorology and the monitoring state service of Armenia for decades. Now he is cultivating melon, watermelon and corn. Agriculture is the only income of his family.
While in Yerevan, a kg of tomatoes costs 250 dram ($0,5), on the highway small bazaars offer a price of 100-150 drams ($0,25).
Almost all villagers were mentioning that sales have gone down, as compared to previous years. They think this is because of the socio-economic situation of the people living in the cities.
All sorts of fruits and vegetables grow in Ararat valley, providing agricultural products to most parts of Armenia.
The first highway bazaar of Khor Virap village, belongs to the Sianosyan brothers. This is a family business, and they cultivate 2 hectares of land.
Almost all the villagers take loans from banks in order to cultivate their land. The amount of loans starts from 2 mln and reaches 9 mln drams ($4000-$18000).
Loans are the only way to finance the villagers.
Villagers have to live the whole year on the income gained from July till October.
They do not have to pay any fees for selling the products on the highways and they have not had any problems until now.
The Sianosyan family also grows pepper. They invested 635000 dram (almost $1300) on the land piece of 3500 square metres, however they are not sure if they will have benefit from that, after covering the expenses. The only hope is a plentiful harvest of hot pepper.
Armen has been selling his harvest on this highway for 15 years. Their little bazaar works 24/7.
It is very expensive to take the harvest to the bazaars of Yerevan, because they have to cover travel expenses, and also pay for the place in the bazaars and parking. So this way the villagers minimize their expenses.
As mentioned by the villagers, the consumption of the harvest has decreased by almost 70%. If previously the drivers were buying almost everything, now clients stop their cars to ask the price, then move on without buying.
On the highways, people sell boiled corn aside their other products.
The are a lot of mini bazaars of preserved food in the Kotayk region. 67 year-old Vardush spent 40 days to make this marinated garlic.
In Voghjaberd village, Kotayk, there is a bazaar of preserved foodstuff. Every day villagers bring their products to sell here.
They have been successfully doing this business for almost 15 years.
For getting highest quality, the villagers use the best products. They say that if one wants to have such colorful preserves, the first condition is to use outstanding products. Their main consumers are locals.
Their main consumers are locals.
Aside from preservatives, they sometimes also sell the fruits of their farmstead.
Nearly every summer day the villagers make sujukh, dried or preserved fruits. To save time, they prefer doing the gross part of the job right in the bazaar.
In the Kotayk region, on nearly every step, one can see sellers.
63-year-old Gohar, is preparing and selling gata every day, for nearly 16 years.
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