The final Board meeting was held in the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. The meeting was dedicated to the results of the Ministry's activities in 2019 and strategic tasks for 2020. The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Victoria Abramchenko, Minister of agriculture Dmitry Patrushev, representatives of both chambers of the Federal Assembly, heads of subjects and regional agribusiness management bodies, Federal authorities and regulatory agencies, unions and associations, scientific and banking communities and public organizations.
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin welcomed the participants of the meeting and noted that Russian farmers showed good results in 2019. "We expect that we will end the year successfully as well. the prerequisites for this are all there. This will be achieved not only due to the volume of production by large agricultural holdings, but also due to the small businesses’ work. Farmers and individual entrepreneurs that have received state grants increased the agricultural production by more than a third," the Prime Minister said.
Victoria Abramchenko said that one of the most important agriculture tasks is export growth. "Russian agricultural products are already delivered to 160 countries and are represented in the Middle East, East and South Asia, Africa, the European Union and the CIS. Russia managed to exceed the target plan for grain exports by almost 5%, while meat and dairy products exports increased by 31%. Our current objective is to double the argicultural products exports by 2024. This is our key "growth point" for the coming years. The problem can be solved only by systematic approaches," Victoria Abramchenko said.The Deputy Prime Minister noticed that it will be possible through the involvement of unused agricultural land in circulation, as well as through rural areas infrastructure development.
As Dmitry Patrushev noted in the report, state support for the agro-industrial complex has increased last year. 318.3 billion rubles were allocated to the state agricultural program, that is 64.2 billion rubles more than the year before last. The agribusiness index reached 103.7%. The agricultural organizations profit exceeded the level of 2018 by almost 13% and amounted up to 353.8 billion rubles. The profitable organizations share exceeded 84%, that is 1% higher than the year before last. Agriculture wages continued to grow steadily.
In 2019, Russian farmers collected more than 121 million tons of grain, that became the second best harvest volume in the post-Soviet history. Among other plant growers achievements are record collections of oilseeds, sugar beets and vegetables. Domestic animal husbandry has strengthened its position. Production of livestock and poultry increased by 283 thousand tons compared to 2018, milk production increased by almost 750 thousand tons. There is a positive trend in the processing sector as well. The production of semi-finished meat products, canned food, cheeses, milk and dry cream, sugar, vegetable oil, confectionery and pasta and mineral water increased as well.
The Russian agro-industrial complex has been strengthening its position in international markets for several years. In 2019, Russia delivered 25.6 billion dollars worth of products and food to foreign markets. The Minister pointed out that it was possible to exceed the indicators not only for grain and fat-and-oil products, but also for the demand of domestic products with high added value is growing.
The foreign trade volume for the current year is 25 billion dollars. "In 2020, more than 30 billion rubles were pledged to exports support. However, we are not limited by financial measures only. A lot of continuous work goes into creating a system for promoting and raising awareness about Russian products abroad. And, of course, the work on opening new markets does not stop even with the current situation. We plan to get access to at least 13 more markets for various types of products in 2020," Dmitry Patrushev said.
Speaking on the situation in the industry in 2020, the Minister noted that the coronavirus pandemic has made adjustments in all areas, including the agro-industrial complex. "Nevertheless, it is crucial our global plans are not disrupted, including strategic plans. Throughout the pandemic the Agribusiness continued to operate normally, there were no failures even during the most active infection spread, which ensured that Russian citizens were provided with high-quality products in the required volume," the head of the Ministry of agriculture said.
According to Dmitry Patrushev, Russian farmers regularly and timely carried out spring field work in spite of the current situation and difficult weather conditions. Currently, the harvesting campaign is in an active phase and more than 101 million tons of grain have been harvested. Harvesting rates and yield indicators are significantly higher than in 2019.
For 7 months of 2020, the livestock, poultry and milk production increased compared to the same period in 2019. There was growth in all major categories of the food and processing industry. The food production index amounted 105.4%.
Every year, the state allocates a significant funds amount to the support of the industry. In 2020, almost 337 billion rubles will be allocated for the agriculture and rural areas development. The Ministry of agriculture of Russia, together with the subjects and agricultural producers, is working on the mechanisms improvement and the efficiency increase in the use of Federal budget funds.
The Minister separately focused on activities improving the life quality in rural areas. This work is carried out within the framework of the State program "Integrated development of rural territories", launched in 2020. 35.9 billion rubles are provided for its activities. According to the results of the first year, the program implementation effect will affect the territories where 4.9 million people live. That is 13% of the total rural population.
A significant part of the State program became the "rural mortgage" mechanism, that aroused huge interest. That is noteworthy that city residents are interested in the tool as well. The tool has already been used by almost 17 thousand people in 80 Russian regions. The volume of loans issued exceeded 33 billion rubles.
Among the strategic work areas, the Minister outlined technological modernization, scientific and educational base development, breeding base development, crop yields increasing, agricultural land into circulation putting and agro-industrial complex digital transformation.
Concluding his speech, Dmitry Patrushev said that the agro-industrial complex and the fisheries sector have shown steady growth recent years. The improvements occur due to state support, technology development and farmers hard work. The agriculture perception as an unprofitable and risky industry changed into understanding that it is a modern and profitable business the past few years.