26 Jan 2010 13:54

Budget financing for agriculture to decline to 128.1 bln rubles in 2010

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Consolidated budget financing for agriculture in 2010 will decline to 128.1 billion rubles from 238.2 billion rubles in 2009, the deputy head of the Economic Development Ministry's department for developing economic sectors, Anatoly Usachev, said at a agriculture conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

The sector will receive 112.7 billion rubles in financing from the federal budget in 2010, down from 190 billion rubles in 2009, and 15.4 billion rubles from regional budgets, down from 48.1 billion rubles. Those figures are contained in reports on the government's anti-crisis measures.

Financing from regional budgets will decline steeply this year, while financing from the federal budget will increase.

Financing for state programs to develop the agricultural sector in 2009 focused on ensuring the financial stability of agricultural producers, Usachev said. That financing accounted for 134.6 billion rubles of the 190 billion rubles in total federal budget financing. The figure was augmented by government anti-crisis measures. Initial plans were for 47 billion rubles in financing. The figure includes 62 billion rubles to subsidize loan interest rates. The measures made it possible to maintain support for the sector at previous levels. In addition, long-term loans to the sector coming due in 2009 were extended for three years.

Agricultural output in 2009 increased 1%, according to the Economic Development Ministry's preliminary estimate.

The Agriculture Ministry has prepared a set of documents that alter the procedures for distributing and providing subsidies from the federal budget on loans for financing new investment projects. "The appraisal of the efficiency of those projects will be shifted to the federal level," Usachev said. Dairy and livestock breeding for meat, primary processing of milk and meat, modernization of the sugar segment, construction and upgrades to grain storage facilities and infrastructure creation are priority areas this year.

The selection of investment projects in the agricultural sector will be completed before March 31, he said.