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MOSCOW, December 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s farmers and agricultural enterprises harvested 97.8 million tonnes of grain in the bunker weight (or before cleaning and drying) in the current agricultural year (from July 1, 2011 through to July 1, 2012), Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik told a news conference on Monday.
This year, Russia gathered a record high harvest of sugar beet at the level of 45 million tonnes, she said, adding that farmers gathered 1.1 million tonnes of rapes, 1.45 million tonnes of soy beans and eight million tonnes of sunflower crops.
In the current year, the output of the important feed plant – corn – reached six million tonnes, the minister said.
Skrynnik reaffirmed that Russia managed to restore production of buckwheat and barley in the amounts necessary for the covering of domestic demands.
According to the agriculture minister, Russia has returned to the global market of grain in full amount. In the current agricultural year, the grain export is projected at the level of 25 million tonnes.
“Proceeding from information received at the Federal Customs Service, the country’s grain export has reached 17 million tonnes up to date,” she said, pointing to rather intensive growth of grain export in the country. “In the past two months, the indicator is decreasing, but it is higher than it was in the previous period,” Skrynnik said.
Besides, Russia’s export of sunflower oil reached 170,000 tonnes and export of Russia-produced sugar exceeded 80,000 tonnes, she said.
In the minister’s opinion, the outgoing year became very important for the Russian agricultural sector. First of all, there were reached indicators of the Russian Food Security Doctrine over the production of grain, rapes, sugar, potato, vegetables and poultry.
“Within the next two to three years, Russian farmers will increase pork production to meet the domestic demand fully,” Skrynnik said.
Moreover, consequences of the abnormal drought of 2010 were overcome owing to the unprecedented measures of the state support.
The minister also pointed to the upward dynamics in the animal farming. The country’s meat and poultry production increased by 4.4 percent (460,000 tonnes) in 2011, as compared to 2010, the minister said.
In her words, Russia’s meat production is expected to be at eleven million tonnes by the end of the year. Besides, the country’s poultry production went up by 11.5 percent, while pork output increased by 4.8 percent, Skrynnik said.
The agriculture minister pointed to the qualitative changes in the meat and milk animal farming sphere. Over the past two years, the share of the pedigree meat animals grew to 60 percent of the total meat animal population, she said, adding that the share of the pedigree animals in the dairy herd amounted to 12.3 percent, which is almost two times more than in 2005.
In general, the minister stated that the meat animal farming is one of the most dynamically developing spheres of the agricultural industry. Over the past five years, the growth made up 44 percent, while poultry production increased by 100 percent, and pork output grew by 50 percent, Skrynnik said.
In the period under review, more than 3,000 animal and chicken farming facilities were commissioned and reconstructed. Over 550 billion roubles of investments were drawn, the agriculture minister said.
Skrynnik also described as efficient and fruitful the mechanism of the governmental grain purchase interventions with the possibility of the buy-back of grain for farmers.