President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Patrushev, agriculture has been among the leaders in recent years. Last year was also quite successful too, the farmers performed excellently, as usual. You have already summed up the final results of last year.
Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev: Mr President, thank you very much.
If I may, I would like to report on last year’s performance. Based on the 2019 results, we expect an increase in agricultural production at a level of 4.1 percent. I have announced the tentative grain forecast for the year at the State Council meeting – 121 million tonnes. This forecast has been confirmed. It is 7.4 million tonnes more than a year earlier.
Overall, we have noted a steady growth in both the production volumes and the productivity of the majority of staple crops.
I will now briefly report on the harvesting of vegetables, fruit and berries. Those crops have been added to the new food security doctrine you recently signed. In general, we have rather good results regarding these. Russian farmers harvested about 14 million tonnes of vegetables in 2019.This is the best result ever in modern-day Russia.
Vladimir Putin: So what you’re saying is we are building up the segment that used to lag behind. We used to have a problem with vegetables.
Dmitry Patrushev: Yes, absolutely.
We had a slight problem, and we have it still, but things look positive, and the situation is changing for the better. Harvests are bigger, and we will soon be able to meet the domestic demand. The gross harvest of fruit and berries also set a new record in 2019, at 3.5 million tonnes.
Things also continue to look good when it comes to the food and processing industry. According to Rosstat operational data, in 2019, the food product index amounted to 104.9 percent, and beverages, 103.1 percent.
To be continued.