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Russia Is on the Way to Becoming World Food Hegemon

5 key developments in Russian agriculture

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The author was Minister of Agriculture from 2009 – 2012, and now heads the International independent institute ( MNIAP) She gave this interview to one of Russia’s most popular news resources.

Agro – Complex is number one in terms of Russian growth .

For the first time, agriculture is booming in Russia.

The first key trend is the strengthening of agriculture within Russia’s overall economy. Agricultural output has increased by 3% against a backdrop of other industries lagging.

Extensive work on import substitution and the current ruble exchange rate give the agricultural sector a key role in the economic development, leading to new macro economic parameters.

The main trigger in sustainable growth is the Food Security Doctrine adopted in 2010.Growth in agriculture allowed us to reduce food imports by almost by 40 %  -or 26 million rubles and still growing.This year, Russia had the biggest cereal harvest in recent Russian history, with a record amount of wheat.

Export Expansion

For the first time, Russia turns into a net – exporter of poultry, delivering more abroad than consuming locally).

This is the first time Russia is number one in the world of wheat export.

Russian exporters can fill any demand – from supplies of halal products to Africa and the Middle East to ice cream in China.

The second important trend is the globalization of Russian agricultural exports.For the first time, our country turns from biggest importer into a net exporter of poultry.

This is the first time in recent Russian history that the country is number one in wheat exports, overtaking traditional leaders – the USA and Canada.

This year’s achievements include the entry into the Chinese cereal market , increasing deliveries to Bangladesh, strengthening Russia’s place in the Asian market. But not just that. To traditional consumers such as Egypt were added Mozambique, Morocco and Algeria who previously imported wheat from France.

APC's achievement marks the entry of Russia’s main producers, such as “ Cherkizovo”, “ Miratorg”, and “ Damate” in the global halal market. In future, exports will go to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. Among the most important events isPresident Vladimir Putin’s impetus to create free – trade zones ( FTA) between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). FTA is one of the main tools in the globalization of the Russian export, for example toVietnam.

Negotiations are underway with Singapore, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and others. For the first time, Russia has earned 25% more on agroexports than on weapons exports. In the next 15 – 20 years we can corner 15% of the global market and increase agro-exports to $150 billion.

Selection and genetics – the foundation of National Security

For the first time, the development of agricultural technologies is a national security priority

The third main trend is the renewal of the industry through the introduction of advanced domestic developments in selection, seed production, and genetics. The federal Science and Technology, Agriculture Development Program will be the basis for this project until 2025.

For the first time, agricultural technology has become a priority of Russia’sNational Security. It is planning to increase financial support to create and modernize regional selection and seed production centers.

According to MNIAP, Russia mostly depends on imported agricultural technologies today, spending about 100 billions rubles a year.

Farm Product Boom

Natural farm products have become easier to find

The fourth trend is competition, that happened as a result of import substitution.Farmers are developing not only new areas of the food market, but alternative trading networks: the Internet – shops, farmers’ – markets, etc. This year, new farm stores including online have appeared in Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod, Sverdlovsk, Penza, Novosibirsk, and Krasnodar. In Tatarstan, a chain of markets “ Krest'yanka” buys local products which are difficult to sell to retail chains. The path from field to consumer is wider, and demand is growing.

Russian farmers are the main suppliers of ecological agricultural products, and plan to soon be leaders in the eco product market.

Counting on the new

Structural changes in the industry require an adjustment of the government support

The 5th trend – the changes in agricultural structure —are confirmed by the Russian Agricultural Census – 2016.  In the last 10 years, the number of farms has been reduced by 40% while agricultural land more than doubled. This is a serious consolidation, thanks to modern technology.

The country’s agricultural sector has reached a new level of development, allowing Russia to join the largest food powers.


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