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LESNAYA Village ( the Novgorod region), March 5 (Itar-Tass) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called to double vegetable production in greenhouses by 2020.
At a conference devoted to the development of vegetable production Medvedev suggested using both Russian methods and the best foreign achievements in this field.
Russia should produce double the present amount of greenhouse vegetables so as by the year 2020 to increase an overall output to 1,100,000 tons annually, Medvedev said. At present, vegetable production in greenhouses is estimated at 600,000 tons annually, which approximately makes up four kilograms per person a year or barely one-fourth of the generally accepted norm of 15 kilograms, Medvedev said.
The consumption of vegetables and greens in Russia is much lower than in other economically developed countries, with Russia accounting for an inadmissibly low share in this sector despite the fact that the price and quality of imports are not always acceptable and sometimes are even dangerous, the prime minister said. He reminded of a number of episodes when pesticides were found in greens imported from abroad.
The task of the development of greenhouse vegetable production is not an easy one, Medvedev warned. At some farms the equipment wear is almost 90 percent; but it is the lack of a competitive potential, rather than the wear coefficient, that matters, the prime minister stressed. Many greenhouses pay excessively high electricity and water supply bills, which tells on the consumer's pockets, Medveded noted.
"We should learn to combine our vegetable production possibilities with the best foreign experience," Medvedev said, urging to broader use energy saving technologies.
Medvedev dwelt on the problem of energy supply, which proved to be most important for some of the farms. Agricultural producers have been complaining of fines charged for excessive gas consumption, Medvedev noted. Therefore, one should think how to improve the situation, including a possibility of changing the terms earlier set to regulate gas supply. This applies to compulsory restrictions of gas supply in cases of excessive gas consumption, the prime minister added.
Medvedev also criticized age-long norms of a greenhouse design and construction, saying that the norms should be brought in line with the modern standards in terms of energy saving, fire prevention and take into account different climatic conditions in different regions.