Armenia’s economy was largely industry-based – chemicals, electronics, machinery, processed food, synthetic rubber, and textile – and highly dependent on outside resources. The republic had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy.
Agriculture is carried out mainly in the valleys and mountainsides of Armenia’s uneven terrain, with the highest mountain pastures used for livestock grazing. Fertile volcanic soil allows cultivation of wheat and barley as well as pasturage for sheep, goats, and horses. With the help of irrigation, figs, pomegranates, apricots, and olives also are grown in the limited subtropical Aras River valley and in the valleys north of Yerevan, where the richest farmland is found. Armenia also produces peaches, walnuts, and quince, and its cognac enjoys a worldwide reputation.