During an agricultural promotional tour Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the government should introduce incentives for an increase in dairy production as imports grow, naming the poultry industry as an example to follow.
Putin offered no specifics about potential stimulus measures. He has stepped up his trips to the regions to visit new plants and discuss economic support measures in the run-up to the presidential election, which he hopes to win.
Russia is still importing dairy products and more integrated farming would allow a better self-sufficiency. The “full cycle” approach helped Russian farmers in areas such as poultry farming, he said.
Putin later inspected a poultry farm that opened in November thanks, in part, to federal funding. Built at the cost of 8.5 billion rubles ($274 million), Inzhavinskaya Farm will process 100,000 tonnes of chicken meat in live weight per year, contributing to the first ever oversupply of the product in Russia, anticipated this year.
The farm is a unit of the privately-held Prioskolye Company, controlled by Gennady Bobritsky, which ranked as the top poultry producer in Russia in 2010 with 15% of the market.
Putin reassured farmers that the country’s pending entry into the World Trade Organization would not cause the government to slash its agricultural subsidies immediately.
This year, he said, the federal budget earmarked 170 billion rubles ($5.6 billion) in support measures, while WTO accession terms allow Russia to spend as much as $9 billion to that end. “There’s some potential,” he said. “We need to calculate the situation and, perhaps, add spending somewhere.”
Myronivsky Hliboproduct, a Ukrainian poultry producer, said its chicken-meat production rose 7% last year as the company boosted the efficiency of its facilities, Bloomberg reported.
Chicken-meat production rose to 384,000 tons in 2011, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Domestic demand for poultry remained high, the Kiev-based company said.
Exports of chicken meat in 2011 rose 80% compared with the year-earlier period and accounted for 10% of all chicken-meat sales, according to the statement.
Myronivsky Hliboproduct opened new export markets and began sales to Libya, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Angola and other countries, it said.