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Russia’s grain harvest forecasted at about 90 million tonnes in 2012 – ministry

March 16, 2012, 20:12 UTC+3

The government will continue assistance to the plant farming sector

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KRASNODAR, March 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is expected to harvest at least 90 million tonnes of grain this year, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Shamil Vakhitov told Friday’s meeting of the inter-departmental commission on the preparations for spring sowing activities in Russia’s south. The meeting was held in Krasnodar.

“This is the first meeting in many years of the leading agricultural regions of the country, which brought together the heads of twelve regions, territories and republics of the South of Russia in Krasnodar to discuss the situation in the agricultural sector on the eve of the spring sowing activities,” Krasnodar Territory Deputy Governor for Agriculture Yevgeny Gromyko told Itar-Tass.

Vakhitov informed the participants in the meeting on the results of the agricultural sector in 2011 and on the tasks for the current year. In his words, “the preceding year was very important for Russia: the country harvested 94 million tonnes of grain.”

Now, the ministry sets the task to gather at least 90 million tonnes of grain in the current year, he said, adding, “This is rather realistic task, in spite of not very favourable weather conditions.”

Up-to-date delay in the start of spring sowing operations for about ten to 14 days on average across the country, the deputy minister said, adding that those are not critical. But it has already become clear that a part of winter seedlings (from six to ten percent) was damaged by severe frosts this winter and it will be necessary to re-sow them.

The government will continue assistance to the plant farming sector. This year, 46.5 billion roubles (USD 1 = RUB 29.35) will be assigned for the purpose from the budget, Vakhitov said.

“The government’s assistance builds up confidence of agrarians,” Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachev said. “A competent approach to the establishment of business allows every farmstead of southern Russia to get chanced not only for a good harvest in the current year, but also for the sustainable development in the future,” he said.

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