Putin sets his sights on Russian agribusiness

Russia could become  a net exporter of food within four years and ultimately one of the world’s largest suppliers of agricultural goods,  President Putin said this week, but warned that this would call for significant investment in the requisite infrastructure including logistics, rail transport debottlenecking and capacity growth in marine ports, elevators and storage terminals. More attention now also needed  to be paid to improve both the quality and competitiveness of its produce,
There was  a  need to develop the country’s Far East  supply lines to provide access to  promising markets in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the Northwest, and  the Azov-Black Sea basin, he added. In a remarkable turnaround since the turn of the millennium Russia, last year became the world’s biggest exporter of grain, at more than 34m tonnes, and has also become a top producer of sugar beet. Last year’s Greenhouse vegetable production was up  30% on 2015 and, while agriculture remains far below oil and gas, the sector has overtaken arms sales to become Russia’s second-biggest exporter.
Although sanctions imposed by the West in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea acted as a spur to Russia’s famers to boost both production and productivity, it was, in fact the weaker rouble – in turn caused by falling oil prices – that helped boost exports.
The Russian government also increased subsidies to farmers and relaxed restrictions on   private land sales which has enabled them to capitalise on, in particular, highly fertile “black earth” region in central and southern Russia which  lie  close to Black Sea export terminals.

Source: tass