Russia set to reform beef production

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Russia set to reform beef production

Related tags Beef production Meat Russia Livestock Beef

The Russian government is due to embark on a large-scale development in beef production, which will enable the country to increase its beef export potential within the next 10 years.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance and Economic Development to develop a sub-programme of beef production support and include it in the draft state programme of agricultural development for 2013-2020.

In order to increase the number of beef cattle breeds, the Russian Prime Minister wants to submit proposals to increase state subsidies in the industry, as well as to develop a special measures of producers’ protection following Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

In the plans, beef producers in Russia will enjoy preferential credit provision, as well as benefiting from the protection regime of Customs and tariff regulation.

Medvedev said: “There is good progress in poultry farming and pig farming, where things are going well and, in some cases, even brilliantly. But with cattle, the situation remains difficult. Annual production currently amounts to 1.7m tons of beef.

“In the late 1980s, our country produced more than 4m tons of beef per year. We should expand capacities for beef production… by building large and medium farms. We should aim to increase beef production by 90%.”

Total investment for the development of beef production during this period is expected to amount to RUB14bn (US$434m). According to the programme of agricultural development 2013-2020, investment in livestock will amount to RUB17bn (US$528m), while preliminary estimates suggest that the special measures for beef production support, will result in an increase of nearly 30%.

Preliminary forecasts from the Ministry of Agriculture estimate that Russia will be self-sufficient in beef by 2018, when it will begin to actively increase the supply of products for export, primarily into Asia.

In order to facilitate this plan, the Ministry of Agriculture plans to create new projects in Siberia, rather than in central Russia, which is the main agricultural region of the country. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, these regions are closest to the potential consumers of products and will be convenient in establishing future trade relations.

The Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov said: “We have agreed – and the Prime Minister has already formulated – the corresponding instructions. There will be large investment projects in beef production, which will be considered as a ‘locomotive’. They will entail hundreds and thousands of less ambitious projects for the creation of modern farms.”

Currently, the main agricultural areas of Russia include the Voronezh, Belgorod, Lipetsk and Tambov regions.

He said: “Areas of Eastern Siberia and the far east of the country are the most favourable. Here the land is unsuitable for growing grain legumes, but there are excellent pastures. In addition, these regions are attractive in terms of exports. They are close to the Asia-Pacific region, where billions of potential consumers of our meat live.​”

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