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MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) —— This year’s net grain harvest is estimated at about 92 million tonnes, State Secretary and Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexander Petrikov said at the All-Russia Agricultural Conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
“The above-mentioned amount [of grain] will be sufficient to meet domestic needs and restore export, which is expected at up to 25 million tonnes in the current agricultural year [from June 2011 through June 2012],” he said.
Besides, Russian farmers gathered a record high harvests of soybeans – 1.5 million tonnes, rapes – 1.1 million tonnes, sunflower – eight million tonnes and sugar beet – roughly 45 million tonnes, Petrikov said, reaffirming a big harvest of corn – six million tonnes.
Touching upon the most important achievements of the outgoing year, the deputy minister mentioned the overcoming of the consequences of the abnormal drought of 2010. He is confident that this became possible owing to the unprecedented measures of the state support rendered by the president and the prime minister, as well as the efficient and coordinated work of the federal and regional authorities with agricultural producers.
While speaking about the present-day top priority tasks, he named preparations for the spring sowing activities, which are expected to start in Russia’s southern regions already in February from the treatment of winter crops.
In order to carry out works in the optimal agro-technical period, it will be necessary to disburse 224 billion roubles (USD 1 = RUB 32.05) to farmers, including 140-150 billion roubles of loans.
“Banks have already confirmed their readiness to grant appropriate amounts of loans to the sector,” Petrikov said.
In his words, favourable conditions have been created for fruitful carrying out of seasonal sowing works. More than 16 million hectares were sown with winter crops. Farmers have got necessary amounts of crops (six million tonnes for spring sowing operations).
In addition, the ministry assigned five billion roubles to compensate a part of spending for the purchase of mineral fertilizers and 252 million roubles for the purchase of chemicals for the protection of rapes seedlings, the deputy minister said.
In 2012, total funds for the development of the plant-farming sector will go up by four percent versus 2011 and make up 46.5 billion roubles, Petrikov said. Direct support to the sector is expected to reach 9.5 billion roubles, which is seven percent more than in the current year.