Ivan Belozertsev compares Penza agrarians with predators hungry for game
Penza, 17 June 2016. PenzaNews. The unorthodox situation in the Russian agrarian economy after the introduction of Western sanctions opened up new opportunities for agricultural producers who received a good reason to develop, suggested the Penza region governor Ivan Belozertsev during the SPIEF panel discussion “AGPgrade. Rebooting the Agricultural Production Complex” on Friday, June 17.
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“There was an arrival of large holdings that currently do active work, use modern technologies, first and foremost in vegetable farming. Other agricultural producers soon followed. Just like a predator hungry for game, our agricultural producers in the Penza region, as well as in other regions – I know are hungry for good opportunities in terms of good harvests,” said the head of the region.
The Penza region became of the top three regions in the Volga Federal District in 2015 for major agricultural development figures – such as a record-breaking harvest of 1,700,000 tons of grain, for the first time in 18 years.
“Of course, support from the Ministry of Agriculture, from the Russian Government is very important. Procuring good machines, good equipment, good seeds, fertilizer – all this definitely gives a good push for development,” Ivan Belozertsev stressed.
During his remark, the governor recalled that a common people’s saying during his childhood life in a Russian village lamented the fate of agriculturalists who found it very hard to apply themselves.
“Of course, the situation right now is entirely different – we need hands, we need professionals. […] For example, we have beginner agricultural producers that get 100 quintals of grain per hectare, while their neighbors across the road get inly 18-20 quintals per hectare of the same land. That shows we have very, very great potential for development and growth,” Ivan Belozertsev said.
In a comment on the Penza governor’s speech, the Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev suggested that the situation in the Penza region is quite typical for other regions as well.
“I would like to point out for you that even Penza caught on this drive and interest for production,” he stressed.
As PenzaNews reported earlier, Alexei Ulyukaev, head of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, made a comment on the sidelines of the SPIEF about the French ex-president Nikola Sarkozy proposing Russia to be the first to withdraw the sanctions. According to the Russian high-ranking officials, being the first side to do so is not seen as an option for Russia.
“Our partners had the initiative to initiate [the sanctions], and therefore the initiative to lift them should also be theirs,” Alexei Ulyukaev explained, and added that Russia currently does not consider lifting the countersanctions.
In turn, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich remakred that Russia is ready to make amendments to its European food embargo if the original sanctions against Russia are lifted.
“If the sanctions get lifted – although I would not put too much hope on it right now – we will also adjust and change our measures. But we already understand and know how we intend to support our producers,” he said during the Russia 24 TV interview during the SPIEF.
The ban on food imports into Russia from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Norway and Canada was introduced on 7 August 2014, and later extended through 5 August 2016 in 2015. Moreover, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Liechtenstein joined the list in 13 August 2015 for supporting anti-Russian sanctions. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine was also added to the list.
The embargo affects imports of meat and meat products, fish and fish products, milk and milk products, vegetables, and fruits.
According to conclusions of the Russian Government Analysis Center in their report “Food Embargo: 2015 Results,” the countersanctions resulted in $9.3 billion worth of lost food export for the Western states.