31 Aug 2009 16:06

Agriculture Ministry to tighten control over use of technology in agricultural production

MOSCOW. Aug 31 (Interfax) - The Russian Agriculture Ministry intends to tighten control over the use of technology in agricultural production, particularly for crops, and support farms that use modern technologies, Russian Grain Union president Arkady Zlochevsky told journalists on Monday.

The ministry is drawing up recommendations for the regions that require, among other things, crop rotation and the use of a minimal amount of mineral fertilizer.

"If all the requirements contained in the recommendations are fulfilled, all the budget doors will be open for such farms, including preferential loans, subsidies for fertilizer purchases and preferential leasing," he said. Farms that do not fulfill the recommendations will have budget support shut off, he said. "There's no need in supporting inefficient technologies. Budget funds should be spent on modern technologies," he said.

Zlochevsky stressed that these are recommendations and "not a mandatory document or control over production. Everyone can farm as they see fit. This is [being done] to establish efficient budgeting."

The Agriculture Ministry has drawn up a list of more than 400 farmers allowed to receive budget support.