Russia's President Sets out Goal of Self-Sufficiency

RUSSIA - A plan to raise self-sufficiency in food production was approved by President Medvedev yesterday (1 February).
calendar icon 2 February 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has approved a plan to boost domestic food production and reduce the country's dependence on imports, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia' new food doctrine, which was worked out in line with its national security strategy until 2020, aims to increase domestic production of grain to 95 per cent of the country's requirements, sugar to 80 per cent, vegetable oil to 80 per cent, meat and meat products to 85 per cent, milk and dairy products to 90 per cent and fish products to 80 per cent.

The doctrine defines the strategic goal of Russia's food security as "the provision of the population with safe agricultural output, fish and other products from water bio-resources and foodstuffs."

The target of 95 per cent of domestic grain output seems to be realistic, as Russia, which was a grain importer during the Soviet period, has managed to boost grain output in the past few years and transform into a leading grain exporter, with grain supplies to other countries expected to hit 38 million metric tons by 2015.

Meat production has also been rising steadily over the past few years.

RIA Novosti reports that at a meeting with the Russian president last week, Agriculture Minister Elena Skrynnik said domestic meat production grew 14 per cent to 3.3 million metric tons last year, pushing imports down to 20 per cent.

Russia's biggest meat headache today, however, involves the insufficient production of poultry. Analysts say the doctrine seems to coincide with Russia's recent announcement to ban poultry imports from the US in an apparent bid to stimulate domestic production.

Russia banned imports of US chlorine-treated poultry as of 1 January, citing new safety requirements. Washington, which supplied 22 per cent of poultry consumed in Russia last year, said the move would damage American poultry industry and push prices up for Russian consumers.

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