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Russia To Harvest Enough Grain To Meet Domestic Needs And Export -- Minister


Russia will harvest enough grain this year to meet its domestic needs and export to other countries, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said.

She met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to brief him on the issue. The minister said harvesting was proceeding at a good pace and 67 million tonnes of grain had already been harvested.

She is confident that the target figure of 85 million tonnes of grain projected for 2009 would be met. This will be enough to meet Russia's domestic grain needs and export grain to other countries, she added.

Grain harvesting has been completed in the Southern Federal District, continues in the Central and Volga Federal Districts, and has begun in Siberia and the Urals.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, 90 million tonnes of grain legumes are expected to be harvested this year, compared to 108.2 million tonnes last year. At the same time, this yield indicator is higher the average over the past five years.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development, the gross grain crop this year is expected at 85-90 million tonnes, which is 17-21 percent less than last year.

The Agriculture Ministry estimates the grain reserves, including carryover stocks and import, at 115 million tonnes. Internal consumption is projected to be 77.2 million tonnes, including 21.7 million tonnes for food purposes and 37.9 million tonnes for fodder.

Nineteen million tonnes of grain will be exported.

Russian farmers plan to sow 17.8 million hectares of winter grain crops for the harvest of 2010, Prime Tass said, adding that wheat will be sown in an area of 14,300 hectares, rye on 2,600 hectares, and barley on 600 hectares, which will be 0.6 million hectares more than in 2008.

It will take 3,874,000 tonnes of seeds to sow these territories, the economic news agency said, citing preliminary information that farmers will be fully provided with their own seeds. It is expected that Russia's farmers will gather at least 3,999,000 tonnes of their own grain seeds.

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