Agriculture Russia: Problems and Prospects

About the alleged critical situation in Russian agriculture today is not expressed, perhaps, only the laziest. And we have abandoned the field, and technology is not enough, and the meat import. It is believed that as soon as we stop food imports, the country will immediately begin hunger.

Let's try to understand: is it really, should we be afraid of the potentially possible hunger and what the problems really are. And most importantly — how to solve them?

  • Agriculture Russia: Problems and Prospects

Crop and livestock production

Agricultural situation in the history of the Russian Federation government is clearly divided into two periods:

— 90 years — a period of continuous decline, reducing the area of arable land, livestock, meat and grains;

— 2000-2010's — the period of recovery after the crisis.

Unfortunately, many residents still believe that the situation in agriculture continues to be as catastrophic as it was in the era of Boris Yeltsin's presidency. Fortunately, to date, the situation has straightened: the restoration of the economy continues, but now at a new level, using modern technology and equipment.

The index of agricultural production in the Russian Federation from 1999 to 2008, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, grew by 55%. The volume of production of crop products in 2008 compared to 1990 was 130%, and livestock — 87%. Thus, it can be argued that in the crop of the Russian Federation has managed to significantly change the situation for the better.

February 1, 2010 Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree "On approval of the Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation", which spelled out the parameters under which our country could be reliably provided with food, produced by domestic companies. As of 2011, the Doctrine of the required parameters have been achieved for grain, sugar, vegetables and poultry. According to forecasts of the Ministry of Agriculture, in the next two to three years of performance will be achieved and the Doctrine of pork production.

In the past year showed record results in the production of:

— grain (97.8 million tonnes);

 Colossal record Russian grain exports: in less than a year already exported 21.5 million tons


— sugar beet (45 million tons);

Russia in January-February 2012 reduced the import of raw sugar to 79 times to 1.4 million tons


— canola (1.1 million tons);

The Russian market of rapeseed: record levels of production and export


— soybeans (1.45 million tons);


— Sunflower (8,000,000 tons)

Russia is on the record for the export of sunflower oil

and (!) Blueberry

Russia exported a record for the last 5 years, the amount of frozen blueberries

In the past few years, Russia has become one of the largest suppliers of grain on the world market. This year, the export volume is expected at 25 million tons. In addition, Russia is a major producer and exporter of maize. In 2011, there were more than 6 million tons of this important forage crop.

For comparison, recall that the Soviet Union, since the seventies, actively imported as grain and corn. By now the situation has changed dramatically, the country has turned from an importer to an exporter. We are not only able to supply the domestic demand, but also to meet external demand.



The growth of grain exports due to lower livestock

Partial truth in the phrase, made in the subtitle is available. Yes, livestock, unfortunately, only restored by 60% compared to the disastrous 1990 figure. But it should be noted that livestock — the scope is more complex than the same crop. Return on investment in this industry varies from 2 years (poultry production) up to 7 years or more (the production of beef and dairy products). Naturally, in such a situation, restoration of production is slower.

Simultaneously with this change and the technologies. In particular, we note the growth of the average milk yield of cows with a parallel decrease in feed intake. For comparison: in 1990 a cow eats about 2.9 tons of food and gave 2.73 tonnes of milk. And in 2010, the figures were, respectively, 2.89 and 3.78 tons. This significant increase in milk yield associated with changes in food supply and the transition to a high-protein animal feed.

Thus, we can say that the often-cited argument that the growth of grain exports provided the fall of cattle, at least, not entirely correct. Animal husbandry has become more efficient: the smaller the amount of grain consumed was produced more milk and meat.

As noted above, the production of poultry, we have managed to achieve the indicators specified in the Food Security Doctrine. Russia now does not depend on the import of chicken, so that "Bush legs", so popular in the 90s, firmly replaced on the shelves of Russian domestic products. Check this can each of us — go to any store next door to the house and ask for the meat department, where chicken. In response, you will be called either a local poultry farm, or a firm from the nearby area.

The increase in production of poultry meat is quite stable in the first two months of 2012, production of the product was 16.9%, or 73,000 tons more than the same period in 2011. Experts predict that the market, in the medium term, Russia may become a major exporter of poultry meat in Europe. Growth is the constant introduction into service of new industries. So, for the first two months of this year, reported the launch of the 23 investment projects to reach full capacity (collectively, about 650,000 tons) in the next two years.

Growing and the production of pork. During the first two months of 2012, pork production for slaughter totaled 277.2 thousand tons, which is 12.1% more than in the same period last year.

However, it should be noted that still remains tense situation beef production. Currently we import about 50% of the total consumption of beef. The slow growth in beef production is due to several factors:

1. Return on investment is at least 7 years. Private investors prefer to invest in the production of poultry and pork, which are beginning to make a profit much faster. According to forecasts, investors will switch to beef only after saturation of the pork market, and when that happens, it is difficult to say.

2. Cost of beef from Brazil and Argentina due to government support of these industries is lower than in Russia. If there is a cheaper product to produce beef, we still loss-making.

3. The legacy of the USSR. Unlike the rest of the world, the Soviet Union the production of milk and beef have been combined into a single meat and milk production. As a result of the slaughter cows were overage, raisings and gobies. Hence the enormous consumption of food: he had to keep a lot of cows with very small high udoyah. At the same time, in foreign countries used for the separation of meat and dairy breeds of cows. At present, attempts are being made for the separation of meat and milk on separate branches.

The way out of the situation with the beef may be the introduction of advanced technologies that reduce the cost of production and the creation of meat-class "elites." An example would be a plant for the production of so-called "marbled" meat, opened in 2010 in a. Hlevnoe Lipetsk region. According to experts, the plant in Hlevnoe is Europe's largest producer of marble meat. To start production in Russia has been transported 7,000 head of purebred cows from New Zealand

Radical improvement of fodder: the growth of meat and milk production by increasing export of grain




At present, agriculture in Russia is experiencing a period of recovery, is uneven: from full recovery and a new level in crop up very, very modest results in the production of meat.

Unfortunately, we still continue to depend on the supply of beef from Brazil and Argentina, so at this point doctrine of food security is not yet done. And without major government subsidies to beef production in Russia profitable until almost impossible.

The state continues to invest heavily on the support of the Russian agriculture, which is moving from large and inefficient agro-complexes to small farmers, able to rapidly introduce modern technology and restructure production.

What do you think needs to be done to achieve full independence from the supply of products? What is the cause of our agricultural problems — lack of money, lack of technology or something else?

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