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Russia unveils draft strategy to build out grain sector

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has put forth a long-term strategy that could ramp up investment in the country’s grain sector by investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and logistics.

The plan, which would cost more than 4.4 trillion rubles ($70 billion), would draw on funds from private investors, loans and targeted financing.

 
According to the Agriculture Ministry, Russia’s baseline scenario for its grain crop is 140 million tonnes by 2035, with the possibility of production rising as high as 150.3 million tonnes. The higher output totals would allow Russia to potentially export as much as 63.6 million tonnes by 2035, the agency said. By comparison, Russia’s grain crop in 2019-20 is forecast at 118 million tonnes, with exports at 45 million tonnes.

“Intensification of grain production will be carried out by preserving and increasing soil fertility by making the necessary amount of mineral and organic fertilizers, as well as taking measures for chemical reclamation (liming, phosphorizing and gypsum), and preventing wind and water erosion,” the Agriculture Ministry said. “Particular attention will be paid to changing the structure of the produced grain — it is planned to increase the volume and stability of the production of hard and soft wheat with high indicators of characteristics (primarily protein content), food rye, brewing barley varieties. It is proposed to consider the possibility of applying international practices of grain classification to improve the objectivity of monitoring.”

In addition to ramping up production of grains, the agency’s long-term strategy takes into account the expansion of volume of port elevators and capacity of transshipment complexes, as well as the carrying capacity of the port railway stations, access roads and highways.

Total storage capacity of grain in Russia is expected to increase to 167.4 million tonnes by 2035, up from 156.9 million tonnes in 2018, the Agriculture Ministry noted. The agency said total investment in the development of infrastructure and transport and logistics support for the grain sector during 2019-35 will amount to approximately 281.4 billion rubles.

The Agriculture Ministry anticipates investment of 10 billion rubles to build breeding and seed breeding centers and 12.5 billion rubles earmarked for the development and implementation of technologies for the production of seeds, development of diagnostic tools for agricultural plant pathogens, and creation and introduction of technologies for the production of biological origin.

“In general, the implementation of the strategy will make it possible by 2035 to significantly increase the volume of production and export of grain, increase the share of high-quality grain, and intensify the development of transport and logistics infrastructure and scientific and technical support for the industry,” the Agriculture Ministry said.


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