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Russian premier: Russia regains status of leading player on world’s food market

November 18, 2016, 15:44 UTC+3 SOCHI

The premier says spending on agriculture in the new draft budget will remain at a high level

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Sowing soybean seeds in fields of a farm in the village of Khorol in Russia's Far East

Sowing soybean seeds in fields of a farm in the village of Khorol in Russia's Far East

© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

SOCHI, November 18. /TASS/. Russia may partly compensate world’s decline of cultivated areas and play a stabilizing role for the global market, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

Russia is going to return about 12 mln ha of cultivated area back into turnover. "I regret saying the process is reverse now - cultivated areas are declining across the globe," the premier said. "Russia is able to at least partly compensate loss of such resource and play a stabilizing role at a global scale, for the global market."

Cultivated areas declined significantly in Russia in 1990s, the Prime Minister said. "We are bringing these lands back into turnover for understandable reasons," Medvedev said.

"Most important that we have indeed become a significant participant in the international agricultural market. This is good for us, for our agricultural producers, for our country, and quite well for the global market," the Prime Minister added. An ambitious task of increasing grain production to 130 mln tonnes in coming 10-15 years "is absolutely feasible, considering deliverables in prior period," Medvedev added.

Medvedev assured that the government will always support farmers, regardless of the sanctions and retaliatory measures. "So far no one lifts them [sanctions]. I don’t know when they will be abandoned. I absolutely agree with the fact that the state will always support the industry," Medvedev said.

The prime minister added that spending on agriculture in the new draft budget the State Duma has just approved in the first reading will remain at a high level. "It [optimization of the budget - TASS] did not affect agriculture, and farmers will feel it," Medvedev said.

He stressed the importance of the development of advanced technologies in the industry.

"Of course, Russia is ready and our farmers are also ready to participate in this process," he said.

According to Medvedev, it is important to deal with and processing of agricultural products, as it gives an additional added value and profits to farmers.

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