23 may 2012

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev holds working meeting with Governor of the Bryansk Region Nikolai Denin

The discussion focused on a major project for the production of high quality beef in the Bryansk Region. The prime minister stressed that “we should not forget about medium- and small-sized businesses in rural areas; they employ a lot of people…” The regional governor also spoke about the housing situation for the veterans of the Great Patriotic War.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Dmitry Medvedev: We haven’t come to your region by chance, since this is a major project and not some showpiece. I would like to point this out. I did not say this at the meeting. This is a working project that will meet nearly 10% of the beef demand when its production reaches full capacity. That’s a substantial contribution. To be able to completely meet the demands of our food market and export beef we will need to increase capacity by 90% both on account of mega projects like this one and large and medium-sized projects, too.    

I believe this goal is within our reach. I am glad that this project is being implemented here. I hope that soon, in a relatively short period of time (time goes quickly), in a couple of years we will be able to see the direct results of this project in terms of beef supplies to the domestic market and for export. 

Let’s talk about the current situation in agriculture in the Bryansk Region, and about other matters that you, Mr Denin, consider to be important. Please, go ahead.

Nikolai Denin: Mr Medvedev, our WWII veterans were very grateful to you during the Victory Day celebrations. The housing waiting list was frozen on March 1, 2005, at the time there were 112 veterans on it. After you signed your executive order, there were 5,268 people on it.

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s great.

Nikolai Denin: As many as 4,500 people have been allocated housing so far, the rest… We will get 630 million roubles and the housing waiting list will be cleared, so the veterans send you…

Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you very much…

Nikolai Denin: … their gratitude, and wishes of health and happiness.

Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, I’m pleased to hear that.

Nikolai Denin: We were given the task of bringing back the potato. In Soviet times, 105,000 hectares of land in the Bryansk Region were used for growing potatoes, the Bryansk Region used to sell 800,000 metric tons of potatoes. In 2000, the region produced only 2,500 metric tons and the total production for collective farms was 40,000 tons, the sector was practically wiped out. Last year we produced 1 million tons of potatoes.

Dmitry Medvedev: One million tons already, is that right?

Nikolai Denin: Yes, it has become one of our most profitable industries, especially during the drought when profits went up by 400%. The sale price was 25 roubles. This year the price is lower, between 5 and 6 roubles, but this is a profitable industry.   

In pig farming, after the implementation of the national project which you oversaw, and the pig farming development programme turned out… We had a total of 29,000 pigs in all sectors of farming. We currently have around 300,000. Rosselkhozbank is giving us loans for these pig farming projects. If it’s a Miratorg company project, then the loans are from VEB Bank.   

The banking system is helping us, too. In 2009, we received loans of 3.5 billion roubles, in 2010 it was 6 billion, and in 2011 it was 10 billion roubles. This allowed us to successfully conclude the field work, we are now getting the fodder ready including in the Miratorg company so that we’ll be able to supply meat to the markets by the end of 2013.

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s good, because such a large project is very important, this is such a major area, maybe the investment really is on a huge scale. But we should not forget about medium- and small-sized businesses in rural areas, they employ a lot of people, and of course, you have a very big rural population. Therefore everything we do should be geared towards ultimately improving the lives of those living and working in rural areas. We have to create new well-organised jobs with decent wages, like they have here, with good salaries. In that case we will have no problems with the rural areas, on the contrary they will not only supply food to the towns and cities but also create high export potential and ultimately contribute to the growth of the economy.

Nikolai Denin: We are now working with the Miratorg company and the farmers, with our collective farms on the kind of economic agreements, so that they…

Dmitry Medvedev: We should involve both small- and medium-sized businesses, because they understand that there are many problems they will be unable to resolve on their own. They told us in Brazil and in some other countries that when large companies enter into agreements and involve small- and medium-sized enterprises in their projects, everyone profits. Let’s do the same here. Thank you.