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VORONEZH, March 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia might become world’s second grain exporter in 2012, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said on Wednesday.
“We think it possible to increase gain exports in 2012 to 26-27 million tons, or twice as much as was exported in 2005-2006,” he said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dedicated to the preparations for the spring sowing campaign. “I believe it is quite possible. And if do that, for the first time Russia might become the world’s second wheat exporter.”
According to Zubkov, additional measures are being taken to develop the infrastructure of the grain market and to regulate it. Thus, a mechanism of subsidizing the construction and overhaul of grain elevators has been elaborated. Late in 2011, the country carried out grain interventions with the buy-back right. In 2011-2012, about 420,000 tons were purchased. “This is not much, but it is only the beginning and I think this mechanism can be used in future if need be,” he noted.
He also said it is necessary to analyze the structure of the production and consumption of grain and meat in regions and to take more active steps to encourage animal breeding and grain processing sectors in such regions as Siberia, the Urals, and the Far East.
He also said that Russia’s biggest banks with government participation had confirmed their readiness to ensure prompt crediting seasonal works. Rosselkhozbank plans to allocate 64 billion roubles for these purposes, and Sberbank – 46 billion roubles. Apart from that, he noted, it is planned to allocate six billion roubles to support insurance in the agricultural sector. Moreover, subsidies will be channeled from regional budgets directly to insurance companies, which will save farmers from the need to pay the subsidized share of the insurance fee and them wait “for months and years” to get compensation.