16 Dec 2010 12:33

Russian agriculture to plummet 9.9% due to drought - Putin

MOSCOW. Dec 16 (Interfax) - Russian agricultural output will plummet 9.9% this year due to the drought, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a televised Q&A session.

A lower harvest will be mainly responsible for the drop, he said. Russia harvested 108 million tonnes of grain in 2008, falling to 98 million tonnes in 2009 "and 60.5 million tonnes this year," he said, adding this was a "serious drop."

"The drought let itself be known," he said.

"Serious measures are being taken to help farmers and support the development trend," Putin said, adding that he had "no doubt this will be the case."