Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

FAO Sez Russia is Now Major Actor on Global Agriculture Markets



UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told RIA Novosti:

Russia made significant progress in the agriculture sector; it’s now an important player on global agricultural markets. It’s poised to become the biggest global wheat exporter in 2016/17. Further, our understanding is that forecasts show that Russia’s total cereal production in 2016 will reach record levels. Russia was one of the most important partners of FAO, significantly contributing to global nutrition security. The [Russian-FAO] coöperation revolves around knowledge exchange and provision of technical assistance to developing countries in ensuring food security, food safety, nutrition, and in tackling transnational animal and plant diseases. FAO is also very much interested in attracting Russian expertise to its forestry, fisheries, land/water management, and soil programmes.

Russia provided 6 million USD (366 million Roubles. 41.4 million Renminbi. 405.6 million INR. 7.878 million CAD. 8.028 million AUD. 5.658 million Euros. 4.728 million UK Pounds) to FAO to implement a food and nutrition security project in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Russia is also interested in allocating money for a FAO project for the progressive control of foot-and-mouth disease in the same region. In 2015, during my official visit to the Russian Federation, we signed a 1 million USD (61 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 67.6 million INR. 1.313 million CAD. 1.338 million AUD. 943,000 Euros. 788,000 UK Pounds) coöperation agreement to support the Global Soil Partnership. I also hope that FAO and Russia would boost coöperation to support FAO work in post-disaster and emergency situations across the globe. The international community can achieve the ambitious goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. We aren’t talking about simply halving hunger’s scope or reducing the absolute numbers of hungry people… we’re talking about really ending hunger by 2030, and providing healthy sustainable diets to all. This is a bold goal, but we’re convinced that it’s indeed viable and affordable. We can and we must be the Zero Hunger generation.

The struggle against hunger requires multiple efforts in many spheres. The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, including elimination of hunger and poverty, as well ensuring quality education, are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. The instability and various conflicts around the world have a negative impact on the issue of global food security, as well as social protection capabilities. Conflict is one of the main… if not the main… drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition. It reduces food availability, disrupts access to food and health care, interrupts food production and agriculture, and undermines social protection systems. Indeed, conflict characterised every famine in the modern era. Some 80 percent of humanitarian funding appeals had links to conflicts, adding that over 56 million people affected by protracted crises were in an emergency level of food insecurity. The FAO exerts efforts to promote stability and food security in conflict-ridden countries such as Nigeria, which deals with the Boko Haram insurgency.

13 December 2016

Sputnik International



Sunday, 23 October 2016

Cash-Strapped Ukrainians Buy Expired Food Following Economic “Experiment”



The Ukrainian news website Vesti reported that since the Ukrainian economic crisis in Ukraine shows no sign of improvement, the past few weeks saw more and more ordinary people buy expired food products. On 1 October, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers temporarily abolished state regulation of prices for food products, which the authorities claim is an experiment allegedly aimed at helping them find out more about the effectiveness and feasibility of price controls. The government decided to scrap the maximum trade mark-up, which ranged between 10 and 15 percent, for goods deemed socially important. The measure will remain in force until 31 December. It means that, until the end of the year, entrepreneurs are free to hike the prices of staple goods including bread, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, pasta, and many other products. the Russian news website Lenta.ru reported that Ukrainians rushed to buy expired food, including milk, sausage, cheese, and croissants, to save money, enticed by smooth operators on the internet. Lenta.ru quoted an unnamed seller from Kremenchug as saying:

I’m selling expired sausages, frankfurters, and wieners. Pay attention to the fact that the products aren’t spoiled.

Prices for such food are cheaper than they are for fresh products, with businessmen preferring to sell expired food at urban markets and even spontaneously formed selling points. Lenta.ru also quoted Maksim Nesmiyanov, the head of the Ukraine’s Union of Consumers, as saying that milk products and ketchup are a dime a dozen at the marketplaces, where they’re mostly purchased by pensioners. Meanwhile, according to statistics, food prices in the Ukraine increased by about 10 percent since the beginning of this year, whilst the population’s purchasing power tumbled 20 percent within the same period.

23 October 2016

Sputnik International


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Russia Dominates Global Wheat Market

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For the second year running, Russia is the world’s top wheat producer with exports of 22.5 million tonnes of grain this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Russia won contracts to exports 120,000 tonnes of wheat to Egypt. The Agriculture Ministry stated that in the autumn, as soon as the harvest brings in a new crop, Russia would supply wheat to China. Russia’s leading position in the global wheat market is because of its low-price strategy, which increased its market share.

The weakened national currency and favourable weather, as well as more investment, pushed forward Russian agriculture and unseated the USA as the world’s biggest wheat exporter. The Black Sea region, including the Ukraine and Romania, traditionally takes the lead at the start of the season with French exports catching up later. However, this year, France is out of the league of top wheat sellers after heavy flooding waterlogged fields and increased concerns over grain quality. According to German agriculture consultant BayWa, the soggy fields reduced crops by 17 percent (to 34 million tonnes) this season.

Matt Ammermann, a commodity risk manager at US-based financial services firm FCStone told Bloomberg, “The Black Sea just has so much to sell now and the quality is coming out better than expected. Traders aren’t even willing to look at French wheat after the harvest delays”. As of Friday, the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies said that wheat at Black Sea ports sold for 165 USD (10,550 Roubles. 1,100 Renminbi. 11,100 INR. 215 CAD. 220 AUD. 150 Euros. 125 UK Pounds)/tonne according to. That’s at least 15 USD (960 Roubles. 100 Renminbi. 1,000 INR. 19.50 CAD. 20 AUD. 13.60 Euros. 11.35 UK Pounds) cheaper than French wheat. Kiev-based UkrAgroConsult believed that Russia should gain nearly 16 percent of the global market this year compared to 14.4 percent a year ago. France’s share would reportedly decline to 11 percent from 12.1 percent last season. Sergei Feofilov, the head of UkrAgroConsult, told Bloomberg, “Russia’s position in the wheat market is changing because Russian farmers received high margins from selling their grain crop of last year, which they used to invest in better farming and technology”. Experts are positive on Russian wheat production through 2020, citing the weak rouble over the period. Alexandre Andrey, an analyst at BMI Research, told Bloomberg, “Thus, Russia would be in a prime position to compete on volume and price against France, Romania, and the Ukraine”.

20 July 2016



Saturday, 4 June 2016

Russia Aims at Effectual Agricultural Self-Sufficiency by 2020

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RF Minister of Agriculture A N Tkachyov told us that by 2020, Russia intends to sell only domestically grown fruit, importing only citrus and exotic fruits. He noted:

We’ve set an ambitious goal for ourselves… by 2020, we intend to be self-sufficient in all types of food, such as dairy products, meat, and vegetables. As for fruit, we’ll only import citrus and exotic fruits that don’t grow in our country. In recent years, Russia gave much state support to the agricultural sector, achieving significant growth in agricultural production. We intend to maintain our level of investments into this field, not only to achieve food security, but to generate export potential as well. Last year, for the first time, the volume of agricultural production in Russia exceeded 76 billion USD (4.983 trillion Roubles. 499.05 billion Renminbi. 5.076 trillion INR. 98.33 billion CAD. 103.18 billion AUD. 66.87 billion Euros. 52.36 billion UK Pounds), which is 17 percent more than the previous year. In 2015, the volume of agricultural and food exports exceeded 16 billion USD (1.05 trillion Roubles. 105.06 billion Renminbi. 1.069 billion INR. 20.7 billion CAD. 21.72 billion AUD. 14.08 billion Euros. 11.02 billion UK Pounds), which is 500 percent of the figure 10 years ago.

Earlier reports stated that in 2015 Russia increased its production of potatoes.

3 June 2016



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