25 december 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik

Mr Putin and Mrs Skrynnik discussed support for households affected by drought, as well as the implementation of a land reclamation programme.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mrs Skrynnik, how is the work progressing onof supporting households affected by drought progressing? We have allocated 35 billion roubles...

Yelena Skrynnik: Mr Putin, in accordance with your instructions, 35 billion roubles were transferred to agricultural producers. The first tranche of 25 billion roubles, which are is a public budget loan, and 15 billion roubles have actually been delivered transferred to agricultural producers. We have begun to transfer the second tranche of more than 3.5 billion roubles.

Regarding the subsidies, five billion of the 10 billion roubles have been transferred, and the second tranche of 1.7 billion roubles is in the process of being transferred.

Mr Putin, I would especially like to point out that after the meeting you held on November 29, the constituent entities transferred 45% of these subsidies within three days. This proved to be the most effective measurewas the most effective motivator.

Vladimir Putin: And you also wanted to tell me about the implementation of the land reclamation programme.

Yelena Skrynnik: In accordance with your instructions, we will prepare a reclamation development programme to until 2020. This programme involves a set of policy measures that would support agriculture and contribute promote to its rapidaccelerated development, regardless of adverse climateic events such as drought. The programme provides support to agricultural producers to develop begin reclamation projects – we provide funding from the federal and regional budgets, as well as through private investment.

We have reclaimed 9.2 million hectares of land to date, and as a result of the programme will be able to use another one million hectares, which can be used to produce an additional 45 million feed units, including 10.5 million tonnes of wheat. In addition, we will resolve the issue of provisions of fruit and berry products in the amount of 18 million tonnes, as well the issue of a 100% supply of vegetables.

Therefore, the food security doctrine, when administered with one million hectares of reclaimed land by 2020, will unequivocally be fulfilled, especially given the support for livestock production and the production of 45 million feed units of highly refined feed.

Some 60,000 facilities to date are under reclamation, which the Agriculture Ministry is serving in accordance with the federal programme, "Preservation and Restoration of Soil Fertility." We support the preservation of these facilities, which to date are include 292 reservoirs, 125 dams and 1,900 special waterworks. We have signed an agreement with the Energy Ministry to have a working group review the effectiveness feasibility of retrofitting and properly restoring these structures and correctly restore them and to use the nine million-plus hectares in a more targetedplanned, effective efficient and systematic way. And the main issue here is resource-saving and energy efficiency.

Vladimir Putin: Good.