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Russian must regain status of global agrarian leader – Medvedev

January 31, 2013, 13:54 UTC+3

“The agricultural sector can and must be competitive,” he stressed

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MOSCOW, January 31 (Itar-Tass) – Russia must regain the status of a leading agrarian state, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.

“We have daring plans – to become, or better say, to regain the status of one of the world’s leading agrarian states,” he said at an extended cabinet meeting, presenting to the president and he State Council basic guidelines for the government’s activities till the year 2018.

“The agricultural sector can and must be competitive,” he stressed.

“In the period till 2018, average annual growth of agricultural produce should be at least 2.4-2.5 percent, and of the production of foods - 3.5-5 percent, which means that key indices of Russia’s food security doctrine will be attained to,” Medvedev said. “It is vital to help Russian companies build up their competitive edge potential in conditions of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with an eye of winning new markets.”

“Farming is the life pattern for about a third of Russian citizens,” he noted. “We must do our best to improve living standards in rural areas. It is planned to build more than four million square meters of housing there in the next few years.”

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