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BERLIN, January 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia hopes that this year’s grain harvest will be roughly at the level of 2010, Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik told reporters after the opening of the Green Week-2012 international exhibition in Berlin on Friday.
In 2011, Russia’s farmers gathered 93.9 million tonnes of grain, as compared to 60.9 million tonnes in 2010. The minister is confident that weather conditions make it possible to forecast this year’s grain harvest at the level no less than in 2011.
Besides, the ministry plans to enlarge this year’s spring croplands to 50.8 million hectares, which is 300,000 hectares more than in 2011. These plans also allow the country to make such forecasts pertaining to grain harvest. In particular, it is planned to enlarge the farmlands under grain and legumes to 30.3 million hectares this year, Skrynnik said.
In her words, the Russian Agriculture Ministry continues diversification of croplands, paying more attention to the farming of protein-containing plants. “We hold diversification works, expand territories sown with corn and focus attention on sugar beet farming,” Skrynnik said, adding, “This year’s grain harvest is projected at the previous year’s level.”
In all, the government assigned 46.5 billion roubles for the development of plant farming in 2012, the minister said, adding that the index is four percent more than in 2011.