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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Record breaking food production in Russia could see exports reaching $40 billion

Ilya Naymushin

Russia is strengthening its position in the global food market with the country's agriculture sector booming. This is largely due to government policy in response to sanctions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The policy of import substitution has proved its worth in a number of sectors. Talking about agricultural produce, we can say we are self-sufficient. We expect that export potential may double by 2025,” said Yevgeny Akhlashev, director of the ministry’s food and processing industry department, which expects exports to reach $40 billion.

He noted that, over the past three years, Russia has dramatically reduced imports of sugar (by 73pc), meat (by 36pc), and cheese products (by 29pc), while domestic production in these sectors increased considerably.

Statistics show that Russia’s export potential in the agriculture sector has surged 15-fold in the past decade. As a result, exports of sugar have risen 17-fold in the past two years. Vegetable-oil exports have increased by 40pc.

Food exports, dominated by wheat and fish, soared to a record $19 billion last year, according to the Russian Export Center.

This month, during his speech to the Russian Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin said exports of food to international markets should exceed imports within the next four years. The president urged an increase in exportation of meat, and the degree of self-sufficiency in beef, dairy products and vegetables. 

Russia is currently enjoying record grain production, which has beaten last year's bumper crop and the record harvest set by the USSR in 1978. The country has harvested around 135.393 million tons of grain, including 85.9 million tons of wheat, during the current growing season. Exports are reportedly set to beat another record this season.

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