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Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko noted the achievements at the end of 2020 and drew attention to the key strategic tasks facing the ministry.

Victoria Abramchenko expressed gratitude to Russian farmers for the results of the past year. “As always, the people employed in the field work and in animal husbandry, in the food and processing industries did not let down, fishermen and veterinarians, workers in agricultural science and education worked with dignity. The success of the Russian agro-industrial complex is the contribution of every employee, ”she said.


Video message from Mikhail Mishustin to the participants of the board of the Ministry of Agriculture

As the Deputy Prime Minister noted, in 2020 seasonal field work took place in the context of the spread of a new coronavirus infection, restrictive measures caused a rush in the food market, and the crisis in world markets provoked an explosive rise in prices for certain goods. According to Victoria Abramchenko, the ministry and regional management bodies of the agro-industrial complex have coped with these challenges.

In 2020, taking into account the growth in agricultural production and food production, the agro-industrial complex index was 102.5%. Despite the complex of unfavorable weather conditions, we managed to collect a good harvest, and set records for individual crops.

Thus, the Deputy Prime Minister said, the gross grain harvest has become the second largest in modern Russian history. The farmers harvested 133.5 million tons of grain in net weight, which is 10% more than in 2019. Almost 86 million tons of the main export crop is wheat. This is 15% more than in 2019. A record rapeseed crop was harvested – more than 2.5 million tons in net weight. This is a quarter more than in 2019. The collection of vegetables amounted to a record 6.9 million tons. In the fishery sector, the volume of commercial aquaculture production increased by 14% over the year.

Russia has reached the values ​​of food security in almost all key areas. In 2020, the country’s self-sufficiency in grain, fish and fish products exceeded the doctrine indicators by one and a half times. And in vegetable oil – almost twice.

At the same time, as the Deputy Prime Minister noted, the industry faces ambitious tasks. In particular, ensuring further growth of agricultural production in Russia and building up export potential. One of the drivers for the development of agriculture will be the implementation of the State Program for the effective involvement of agricultural land in the turnover and the development of the reclamation complex of the Russian Federation until 2030, which was approved by the Government on behalf of the President. Over 10 years, it is necessary to put into circulation at least 13 million hectares of agricultural land.

Victoria Abramchenko in her speech drew attention to the strategic challenges facing the country’s agro-industrial complex. “Despite the fulfillment of the main indicators of the Doctrine of Food Security, there are positions on which it is necessary to work very actively and increase production indicators. This is the production of milk, vegetables, melons, fruits and berries. From year to year, we are talking about a decrease in the level of import dependence on foreign genetic and seed material in priority areas of agriculture and the fishery complex. We need to learn how to prepare package solutions that will not be inferior to foreign ones and will be in demand by our agribusiness, ”said Victoria Abramchenko.

For this, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education needs to reconsider approaches to the creation of varieties, hybrids and pedigree products, and the Ministry of Agriculture needs to correctly formulate a task for the development and provide continuous feedback with agricultural producers. “It will not work to introduce domestic products by force, they must be competitive,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.

Another strategic objective is related to improving the quality of life in the countryside. As noted by Victoria Abramchenko, the Ministry of Agriculture should become the coordinator of activities aimed at the development of rural areas and provided in the programs of other departments. This year, more than 220 billion rubles have been allocated in all state programs for the development of rural areas. In addition, as the Deputy Prime Minister said, the President supported the Government’s proposals to allocate an additional 6 billion rubles for the implementation of measures for the comprehensive development of rural areas, including 2 billion rubles for the rural mortgage program. This will finance the acquisition of 2 million square meters for 35,000 families. m of housing, to build almost 200 infrastructure facilities in 27 regions of the country, as well as to finance more than 550 projects for the improvement of settlements in 76 constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

Another task, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, is Russia’s entry into the top 10 world food suppliers by 2030. “The growth in agricultural production allowed to increase exports, the total volume of which amounted to more than US $ 30 billion. This is almost 20% higher than the 2019 level. For the first time, exports of the agro-industrial complex exceeded imports. These are good indicators. But we can do more. We are now entering the top twenty. And while such countries as Poland, Mexico, Thailand, Australia are ahead of us, ”said Victoria Abramchenko.

She stated that in the context of the changing world structure of food and agricultural raw materials consumption, the recovery of the world economy after the pandemic, new opportunities arise for the supply of Russian products to various regions of the world. Such opportunities should be supported by systematic measures to reduce the cost of production, the introduction of digital technologies and adequate support measures. “We have agreed with the Ministry of Finance to direct all additional income from the agro-industrial and fishery complexes to the needs of the industry. All forms of management, including small ones, need to be supported. I’m talking about peasant (farm) farms. Please analyze the availability of state support measures, primarily compensating subsidies for this category of farms, ”said Victoria Abramchenko.

The Deputy Prime Minister in her speech drew attention to the turbulence in the world market of agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs. Russia has acutely felt this on itself, on the one hand, in the form of an increase in prices for socially significant food products, and on the other hand, in the form of a tangible increase in the cost of agricultural products. At the same time, as Viktoria Abramchenko noted, the rise in food prices is a global trend. So, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in May this year, food prices in the world reached record levels over the past decade. To maintain the stability of food prices in the domestic market, it was necessary to promptly intervene on the part of the state.

Victoria Abramchenko noted that the Government allocated about 15 billion rubles to support farmers and processors of agricultural products. These are subsidies for sugar and sunflower oil producers, flour producers and bakery enterprises, preferential loans for the poultry industry.

In addition, measures have been developed for operational and long-term economic regulation. A floating duty has been introduced on grain and sunflower oil. The funds received from the implementation of these mechanisms will be used to support the crop industry. “The ministry, as a curator and in a good sense, a protector of the industry, should closely monitor its well-being. An increase in the cost of production, for example, due to a significant increase in the cost of purchasing fertilizers, fuels and lubricants, animal feed, should include appropriate protective mechanisms, ”the Deputy Prime Minister said. Such monitoring should work on an ongoing basis. And protective measures should be systematic, permanent. Farmers should not work at a loss, and there should be no double standards in government regulation.

Management of the balance of agricultural production, operational monitoring of the state of the industry and the price situation remain one of the main tasks of the ministry.

Concluding her speech, Victoria Abramchenko thanked agricultural producers for honest and efficient work, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rosrybolovstvo and Rosselkhoznadzor – for well-coordinated, clear, teamwork.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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