20 Jan 2023 21:24

Russian AgMin could extend state support to private farms raising animals

MINERALNYE VODY. Jan 20 (Interfax) - Owners of private subsidiary farms in Russia that raise animals may receive state support. The Agriculture Ministry is considering this possibility provided state support for private farms engaged in crop production goes positively, Deputy Agriculture Minister Andrey Razin said during a forum titled "Development of sheep breeding in the North Caucasus" in Mineralnye Vody on Friday.

"It should be noted that this year we have made our first attempt to support private subsidiary farms in crop farming. We will see what we're able to do with vegetables, and in general, if the experience is seen as positive, we will absolutely look at the possibility of expanding support measures, including to private farms engaged in beef cattle breeding," he said.

State support for private subsidiary farms is currently provided within the framework of the federal project on the development of vegetable and potato growing, which was launched this year, the deputy minister said. "These are very important sectors for the North Caucasus. And there we are providing for the first time the opportunity to get state support for household farms that are registered as self-employed. I am sure that this issue is not far off for traditional forms of farming in the North Caucasus, and for those who are engaged in meat cattle breeding," the official said.

Razin clarified that almost 43% of small ruminants in Russia today are at private farms. "This is a huge sector of the economy, which we need to pay special attention to," he said. Speaking about trends in the number of cattle, he noted that there is generally a stabilization.

"Financial support measures are always an important component. More than 2 billion rubles were allocated for the [sheep breeding] industry in 2021. And, of course, we do not plan to reduce these support measures next year and this year," he said.

The deputy minister also said that last year the meat industry reached "very substantial milestones." "We reached a production volume of 16 million tonnes for slaughter in live weight for all types of meat," Razin said, adding that the greatest contribution to this came from hog and poultry breeding.

"We are not seeing any breakthrough in lamb, although there is consumer interest, there is already a steady demand not only at weekend markets, but consumers are requesting that store shelves every day have quality [lamb] products in a good package," Razin said.

According to Rosstat, by the end of October 2022, private farms in Russia accounted for 38.9% of cattle (of the total population of 18 million heads), 7.3% of pigs (of 28.3 million heads), 44.9% of sheep and goats (of 21.9 million heads). In 2021, meat production was 15.7 million tons (live weight, for slaughter).