Putin appoints new agriculture chief to take advantage of EU food import ban

Alexander Tkachyov

Putin appoints new agriculture chief: Alexander Tkachyov, currently governor of grain-growing Krasnodar Krai, has been chosen to head up Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture as President Putin looks to galvanize a sector which he sees as having failed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by last year’s ban on EU food imports. He takes over from  Nikolai Fyodorov who becomes a presidential adviser.
“We need our own produce – the produce of domestic manufacturers – to fill our own market and this needs to be done quickly,” Putin remarked  in reference to the move. Agriculture accounts for about 4%  of Russia’s GDP and, while many of Russia’s major food producers have been enjoying soaring profits as food prices rise, Putin believes that there has not been sufficient long-term investment or increases in production and productivity.
Putin has three months in which to decide to extend the ban or not.