President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
On December 26, Moscow will host a special State Council meeting on agriculture development.
So, I wanted to take my trip to one of the agricultural regions to talk with those who work the land, so that before I meet with my colleagues, with the regional leaders and industry leaders, I can listen to what you have to say on this subject, how you see the development of the industry and its individual areas, and which positive aspects, in your view, need to be developed and supported.
What you would like to draw our attention to, meaning that something may not be working so far or may not work as efficiently as we would like it to. Or you would like to point out those issues that concern you so that I can address them to my colleagues in Moscow on December 26.
But first, I must say that thanks to your efforts, to those who work in the rural regions, the industry as a whole is developing at a very good pace. While economic growth is 1.3 percent, agricultural growth is 4.1 percent. To a certain extent, this even acts as a driver for the development of the entire economy.
Agriculture in Russia not only provides the country with all the basic foodstuffs, but it is also working rather efficiently for exports. In 2018, exports totalled almost $26 billion. It was hard to even imagine this a few years ago. It seemed impossible. But all this is happening thanks to your efforts and those of your colleagues.
We will continue to implement the state programme for agriculture development. And next year, we will launch a new programme for the development of rural areas, you probably know about this. The amount of funding is very large – more than 2 trillion, with 1 trillion directly from the federal budget to various areas of agriculture.
This is what I wanted to say first. The goal of our meeting today is to listen to you. This does not mean that I will answer all your questions now, because they can be quite complex and specific. I will do what I can do, but mainly, I would like to listen to you in order to use this information in my work on December 26 in Moscow.