The Ministry of agriculture of Russia summed up the six-year results of the food embargo imposed by presidential decree No. 560 of August 6, 2014 “on the application of certain special economic measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation”.
During this time, the Russian agro-industrial sector has demonstrated significant dynamics of development – today Russia fully provides itself with basic food products and is actively increasing the export potential of the industry.
According to agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev, the most important result of recent years is the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in the agricultural sector.
“The opening and intensive development of agricultural enterprises throughout the country has significantly improved the employment situation in rural areas. Moreover, today, when Russia, as well as the whole world, is facing various consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the agro – industrial complex is a donor of jobs for other sectors of the economy and is ready to accept specialists from various fields, including high-tech ones,” the head of the Ministry of agriculture said.
Over the past six years, Russia has reduced food imports by a third – from $ 43.3 billion in 2013 to $ 30 billion in 2019. So, for pork, it has decreased by almost ten times – if in 2013 the country imported this meat for 2.6 billion dollars, then in 2019 it is already only 270 million dollars. For cattle meat, imports decreased by 2.5 times, from $ 3.2 billion to $ 1.3 billion, poultry – almost twice, from $ 911 million to $ 410 million, vegetables and dairy products – by a third. Imports of tomatoes decreased by 42.1% from 1.1 billion to 639 million dollars, apples and pears – by 50.8% from 1.2 billion to 586 million dollars.
Confident development of the agro-industrial complex and self-sufficiency in many indicators allowed us to change the development paradigm from an import-substituting model to an export-oriented one. Russian agricultural exports increased one and a half times and amounted to 25.6 billion dollars at the end of 2019 against 16.8 billion dollars in 2013. In particular, there was a significant increase in deliveries of meat and fat-and-oil products, food and processing industry products abroad. Russia is among the leaders in the supply of wheat, vegetable oil, fish, sugar and a number of other categories.
Over the past six years, the volume of state support for agriculture has increased significantly. In 2013, 197.9 billion rubles were allocated for the activities of the State program for the development of agriculture.in 2019, the amount of funding amounted to 311.5 billion rubles.
Among other things, thanks to these measures, Russia has seen a significant increase in production of the main types of crop production — cereals (from 92.4 million tons in 2013 to 121.2 million tons in 2019), sugar beets (from 39.3 million tons to 54.4 million tons), soybeans (from 1.5 million tons to 4.4 million tons), vegetables in winter greenhouses (from 538 thousand tons to 1.14 million tons), fruits and berries in agricultural organizations, peasant (farmer) farms and individual entrepreneurs (from 678 thousand tons to 1.18 million tons) and other cultures.
Significant progress has also been made in the field of animal husbandry. For example, production of pigs for slaughter in live weight in farms of all categories increased from 3.6 million tons in 2013 to 5.03 million tons in 2019, poultry production – from 5.2 million tons to 6.7 million tons.
“Thanks to the work of our farmers and effective state policy over the past six years, the volume of agricultural production has increased by 22.4%, and the industry as a whole has become one of the drivers of the Russian economy. Together, we have managed to change the perception of agriculture as an unprofitable and risky industry in many ways, and to create an understanding in the business environment that it is a modern, high-tech and profitable business. At the end of last year, the profitability of agricultural organizations reached 13.3%, which is almost twice higher than in 2013. Today, we note a stable inflow of Russian and foreign capital, even from investors who previously had nothing to do with the agro-industrial complex. The industry has become one of the largest consumers of new technologies and advanced scientific developments. More and more people see opportunities and prospects in agriculture both for themselves and for their business,” Dmitry Patrushev said.
In 2014-2019, the actual growth in agricultural production was 119%, food – 131%, and beverages-105%. According to the results of this year, the expected growth in agricultural production over seven years may be 120.2%, food products-135.3%, beverages-108.1%, and in General for the agro – industrial complex-125.1%.
In General, the effect of restrictive measures gave an impetus to the development of the Russian agro-industrial complex, contributed to the inflow of investment, and created additional jobs in agriculture and related industries.
“In the Kaliningrad region, the introduction of the Russian food embargo has helped to strengthen the position of economic entities and increase the level of self-sufficiency, and has given an incentive to the development of the regional agro-food complex. In the region, new agricultural enterprises are being put into operation and start working, farms are being created, acreage is expanding, agricultural production is increasing, and its range is expanding,” said Natalia Shevtsova, the Minister of agriculture of the region.
According to the Ministry, the region’s population is now fully self – sufficient in potatoes, 87% in eggs, 75% in meat and meat products, and 61% in vegetables. The population’s demand for whole milk is 100% met, and the supply of deep-processed dairy products (cheeses, condensed milk, curd products) is 78 %.
During the period 2013-2020, investment projects in livestock and crop production are being actively implemented, which have contributed to an increase in production. The cost of gross output has been doubled: from 20 billion rubles (2013 level) to 41.1 billion rubles (2019 level).
In 2020, the total acreage in farms of all categories in comparison with 2013 increased by more than 100 thousand hectares and amounted to 286.5 thousand hectares.
From 2013 to 20219, the gross harvest of cereals and legumes increased from 332 to 680 thousand tons, oilseeds – from 76 thousand to 122 thousand tons, vegetables – from 64 thousand tons. up to 76 thousand tons, potatoes – from 127 thousand. up to 137 thousand tons.
“The active introduction of intensive and innovative technologies in agriculture has allowed to increase the yield of agricultural crops, the main indicator of technological efficiency in crop production, and bring the region to the key positions in the rating among other subjects of the Russian Federation for cereals and rapeseed,” Natalia Shevtsova said. – For farmers in the region, 2019 has become historically significant, when a record harvest of grain and rapeseed was obtained. Taking into account the expert assessment, it is planned to get the harvest at the level of last year in 2020.”
A significant increase in production occurred in the production of vegetable products. The area of closed ground has increased by more than 2.5 times, while the area of greenhouse complexes for year-round use has increased by more than 5 times (from 1.63 ha to 8.75 ha).
With the increase in vegetable production in the region’s farms by more than 2 times (from 15.7 thousand tons to 34.9 thousand tons in 2013 and 2020, respectively), there was a significant expansion of the product range.
Industrial gardening has been actively developing in the region since 2013. The area of perennial plantings, including the laying of the spring of this year, is 1,243 hectares. In this direction, projects have been implemented to create a nursery of fruit and berry crops on an area of 70 hectares, which will produce 1 million seedlings per year when reaching its design capacity, two agricultural consumer cooperatives have been created, and modern fruit storage facilities with a controlled gas environment are planned for construction.
Significant development in the past six years has taken place in the livestock industry. Thus, the production of pigs for slaughter in live weight in farms of all categories increased from 32.1 thousand tons in 2013 to 42.1 thousand tons in 2019 (by 31 %), poultry production – from 21.1 thousand tons to 37.9 thousand tons (by 79%). Milk production increased from 149.6 thousand tons to 184.9 thousand tons (by 24 %), and egg production from 195.5 million units to 252.8 million units (by 29%).
Currently, a modern system of production of domestic breeding products is being formed in the region. The Zalesye group of companies is implementing an international project of a highly specialized breeding and genetic center for dairy cattle (with a specialization in the Holstein breed), which is a partner of the enterprises of the international Union of breeding companies MASTERRIND and RBB (MASTERRIND and RBB).
The implementation of the project makes it possible not only to provide the breeding stock with breeding material (seed) of world genetics, but also to implement a unique program for securing bulls. Within the framework of this project, 12 heads of Holstein bulls were imported in 2019-2020 to complete the herd of the limited liability company “Intergen Rus”. By the end of 2020, it is planned to complete the enterprise with thirty more heads of bulls-producers. The company was granted the status of “organization for artificial insemination of farm animals”. Due to the presence of this enterprise in the region, it is planned to reduce the share of imported seed in the Kaliningrad region by 40 %. In the long term, this project will create a domestic Fund for genetic resources of dairy cattle.