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ALEXANDER TERNOVOY SAYS, 'GRAIN EXPORT IS POLITICAL QUESTION.'

Елена Кухта

Chairman of board of directors of Altaiskiye Zakroma Agro-Industrial Holding believes that Russian diplomats should help our agricultural sector. 

The beginning of the harvest campaign has proved the fact that the yield of 2011 will be less than the previous one as it has been spoken about before. On the one hand it will allow the grain prices to be on the acceptable level and the prices of some crops are expected to rise quite well. But on the other hand the weather, which didn't give the opportunity to the agricultural manufacturers to show good results, will influence the quality of wheat badly. Chairman of board of directors of Altaiskiye Zakroma Agro-Industrial Holding Alexander Ternovoy speaks about peculiarities of agriculture in Siberia and close connections between the branch and the foreign policy.

 

‘There was a drought which had been much talked about before sowing in the Altai territory. It didn’t rain practically the whole June and June is the month when grain and legumes are developing. The only thing it means is that these crops will not give good yields that have been expected by the agricultural manufacturers. It is especially true for the southern parts of the territory in the so called steppes where there was very dry. As a matter of fact 1.8 million hectares of ploughed fields out of 5.5 million hectares in the Altai territory were under adverse conditions. While last year steppes gave 8-12 dt/ha this year they will give half as much accordingly.’

‘And yet the main crop in the Altai territory is wheat and its price is dropping. What price is expected to be in autumn, and what price is preferable for farmers?’

‘Wheat of high quality is always highly priced. If third-grade wheat suitable for breadmaking cost 5.5-7.5 thousand rubles per a ton, it will be of the same price in autumn. As for wheat of low quality it has fallen in price indeed because it is totally contaminated. This is a problem of grain storage. Unfortunately, the number of farms that have no funds to store grain in elevators is still significant. In the Altai territory capacities of elevators and good storehouses comprise as a whole about 3 million tons and more than 4 million tons of different crops are harvested at the same time. In fact 1.5-2 million tons are stored any old how.’

‘It is much spoken about the necessity to use fertilizers more extensively. But farmers even having financial resources cannot often buy them because basic amounts of fertilizers are exported. Is it really a serious problem?’

‘And here again we revert to the main subject. Abroad they get grain yields of 120 dt/ha with their clay soils when there are 500-600 mg precipitations and 200 kg fertilizers. Such productivity means that our foreign colleagues have more money to buy fertilizers. But in principle it is not difficult to alter the situation on the macroeconomic level. The grain of the Krasnodarsky territory should be exported without any limits. Then the grain of the Siberian region will be in demand regardless of railway tariffs because there will be a shortage of it in the central regions. It is known that only 29 million people out of 142 million Russians live on this side of the Urals. A great number of people live in the central regions of the country. If there is a good export our grain is to work up a market. But if it happens agriculture of European countries will be ruined because our grain is cheaper and of higher quality. Thus this is a political question and not a simple one as it seems to be at first sight. We shouldn’t hope for such a development of the situation. We should learn how to process ceiling amount of crops and export final products with high value added but not the grain itself.’

Prioritetnoe Mnenie

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