28 Jan 2010 13:08

Medvedev lauds agriculture results in 2009

GORKI. Jan 28 (Interfax) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said he is happy and impressed with the performance of Russia's agriculture industry in 2009, which witnessed growth despite the gloomy economic climate.

"Agriculture achieved rather good results," he told Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik on Wednesday. "This shows that the policy of agricultural recovery is correct."

Agricultural production in Russia grew by 1.2% last year, Skrynnik said with reference to the State Statistics Agency.

"That was even better than we expected," Medvedev said.

Russia produced 32.6 million tonnes of milk. Poultry production grew by 13%, and pork production increased by 7%. Fifty-six farms were commissioned last year, Skrynnik said.

"Imports reduced, but meat quality improved and prices did not change much," Medvedev said.

"Although we have produced a lot of poultry and pork, we should continue to open new cattle farms," he said.

The minister said she would act, and the government resolution on agricultural subsidies would be a part of the policy. The subsidies have helped Russia import 320,000 pedigree cattle heads.