Andrei Bocharov informed the President that over four million tonnes of grain had already been harvested in the region. Due to the President’s support for the proposal to expand the state support of melioration, processing and storage back in 2014, the vegetable group, including melons, has been completely stabilised, and the harvest has reached one million tonnes for three years in a row. There are good prospects for development.
According to the Governor, the volume of reclaimed land has increased by half. The decisions made in 2014 brought about an increase in the export and processing of agricultural products. About 80 percent of oil crops are processed in Volgograd Region, compared to only 20 percent back in 2014. The region is expected to reach 100 percent this year and the next. About 50 percent of vegetables are processed, and the processing of corn is soon to reach 70 percent.
Mr Bocharov reminded the President of the meeting of the State Council Presidium he held in August 2016 on the sanitation of the Volga River and the Volgo-Akhtubinskaya flood plain. The implementation of the unique large-scale project to revitalise the flood plain and fill it with water has already begun. The project is primarily aimed at improving environmental security and creating favourable conditions for life. It involves not only Volgograd Region, but also the whole of southern Russia as far as Astrakhan and the Caspian Sea.
The project will also help create favourable conditions for arid lands, which are home to more than 500,000 people in Volgograd Region alone. It will give an additional boost to the development of the agro-industrial complex. It is planned that vegetable production will be doubled, reaching two million tonnes. The Governor also asked Vladimir Putin for additional presidential support in addressing issues related to processing and storage of produce.
The discussion also touched upon the development of the pharmaceutical cluster, which will soon be fully operational, the establishment of an oncology centre and issues related to emergency medical aid across Volgograd Region.