Russia’s Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, gave an update during Government hour to the state Duma on Wednesday.
He basically reiterated the current agricultural policy of import substitution saying Russia will be able to reach full self-sufficiency in agricultural products, except for exotic foods, in seven years.
From my travels across rural Russia, many people are already self sufficient in agricultural products.
Tkachev went on to say that this year’s grain harvest reached 117mmt, which is a post-Soviet record and grain exports will be about 35mmt during the current agricultural year.
He doesn’t mention grain quality, specifically wheat, not that I can find anyway and I can’t help but think it’s an issue that is not going to go away.
He went on to report that he was confident 10-12 million hectares will be brought back into agricultural production which he viewed as a priority.
It would certainly boost Russian agricultural production if they did but bearing in mind Russia has a record grain harvest, there is possibly a reason why that land is currently lying unused.
On meat he reckons exports could reach 1mmt by 2020 and see’s Asian markets as the target but then again who doesn’t.
With Milk production at an all-time low (here) the Minister recognises that to completely replace imported dairy products, Russia will need to develop more than 800 dairy farms, or 160 farms every year by 2020.
Possible investment opportunity there for adventurous dairy farmers with deep, deep pockets.
The ministry also plans to protect domestic producers from unfair competition so expect more stories of import administration irregularities resulting in dangerous and counterfeit Belarussian apples being destroyed.