13 Mar 2018 17:06

State support for agriculture to grow 10% in 2018 - Dvorkovich

STAVROPOL. March 13 (Interfax) - State support for the agricultural sector in 2018 will increase by 10%, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said at a territorial agrarian conference in Stavropol on Tuesday.

"A decision has been made to increase support [for agriculture] from the federal budget this year by roughly 10% compared to last year," Dvorkovich said. .

Currently, state support for the industry in 2018 is at last year's level of 242 billion rubles.

The additional funds will go to support new investment projects and farms and to update the fleet of farm machinery. "This problem [updating farm machinery] remains very acute compared with the peak that was achieved in the middle of the 1980s, when farm machinery was being updated at a rapid pace," he said, adding: "We are currently at half that level."

State support for the sector will also come via regional budgets, he said. "We will allocate unrestricted subsidies that regions can use, in essence, at their discretion, based on the understanding of what is needed for agriculture," he said.

"We will not under any circumstances reduce state support. In other words, we will continue to maintain profitable agricultural production at an acceptable level," he said.