Russian government to invest Rbl 550 billion in agriculture within 5 years

Business Materials 14 February 2008 00:17 (UTC +04:00)

( Itar-Tass ) - The Russian Agriculture Ministry is determined to implement an action plan within a year in order solve key problems in the agricultural sector.

"Speaking about key problems I would like to say that the ministry has an action plan and substantiated proposals that we plan to consider and implement within the year at the level of the government and president of Russia," Gordeyev said at the all-Russia Agricultural Assembly in Barnaul on Wednesday.

He admitted, "Despite positive changes, the situation in rural economy and the life of 40 million peasants largely remains a challenge," he said.

"We must be realists and understand the risks and threats that will face us as we implement a new agrarian policy," he said, naming among them "a set of questions associated with land relations and agricultural production, trade policy in its broad meaning, price parity between industries and accumulated social problems in rural areas, primarily infrastructure problems".

"Current trade policy fails to meet contemporary requirements, including customs and tariff regulation, relations between producers and traders, the absence of technical regulations and standards that protect conscientious producers and consumers of food," the minister said.

In addition, he believes that "the government should ensure fair price correlations between agriculture and industry, energy and transport using market mechanisms".

Speaking about the state programme, Gordeyev said, "The budget will provide 551 billion roubles for its implementation in the next five years. This is three times more than in the previous five-year period."

"The document sets about 60 specific targets for the development of agriculture and rural areas," he said. These include "annual growth of agricultural production should be 4 percent in average, including in animal husbandry up to 5 percent."

About 400 hectares of abandoned and unused agricultural land will be brought back into use every year. "And most importantly we should double the income of rural residents," Gordeyev said.