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PM Medvedev to hold conference call with regions on spring field works

March 29, 2016, 2:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

As stated in the government press service, the meeting will be held via videoconference with the participation of heads of Russian regions

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MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is going to hold a conference call meeting with the regions to discuss 2016 spring field works.

As stated in the government press service, the meeting will be held via videoconference with the participation of heads of Russian regions. In particular - Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Crimea, Altai and Krasnodar Territories, Belgorod, Volgograd, Kurgan, Kursk, Lipetsk, Tambov and Saratov regions, which have already begun field works.

Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, as well as representatives of other ministries are going to participate in the conference call.

The Ministry of Agriculture said earlier that in the current year the total area of ··crops is forecast at 79.43 mln hectares, which is 436,000 hectares (0.5%) more than in 2015. Spring field works are planned on the area of ··52.4 mln hectares, which is 0.4% more than last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture estimated the cost of spring field works at 326 bln rubles ($4.7 bln), including 189 bln rubles ($2.75 bln) of loans. Thus, the total cost of the field works (sowing, harvesting, storing) are estimated at 1.2 trillion rubles ($17.48 bln).

Traditionally problematic issue at the beginning of spring field works are the prices of fertilizer, fuel and lubricants. Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev, in early March assured President Vladimir Putin that the fertilizers’ provision is 7% higher this year than in 2015, fuel and lubricants - 12%.

At the same time, Putin has instructed the Ministry to closely monitor the prices of fertilizers, preventing them from excessive growth. The Ministry of Agriculture has warned that in case of a sharp rise, the government could impose export duties on mineral fertilizers.

So far, there are no reasons for such measure, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade said earlier. Deputy Head of FAS Department for Control over Chemical Industry and Agro-Industrial Complex Sergey Vershinin told TASS in mid-March that the average prices of complex fertilizers in 2016 increased by no more than 5% in comparison with November of last year. However, the agency continues to monitor the market.

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