This year, Agriculture Workers’ Day was observed on October 9.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good evening, friends,
First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on your professional holiday. Naturally, I hope you will rest well today, speak with your colleagues, and forget about your daily worries.
In these autumn days, nearly all the regions of our nation are honouring workers in agriculture and processing industry. And everywhere, people are expressing their deep respect to the harvest collectors, grain-growers, machine operators, and livestock breeders – all those who work in this sector and determine its success. It is true that for many years, when people spoke about the agro-industrial complex, they would talk about its problems, or simply berate our agriculture – I am very glad that the situation has completely changed. This does not mean everything has become entirely easy and simple, but the government’s attitude toward agriculture has changed. Perhaps the most important indicator here is that we continued to see growth in agriculture, even during the most difficult period for our nation, when the economic crisis wreaked havoc throughout the world. Agriculture was virtually the only sector that experienced gains. This is wonderful and means that everything we did was not in vain.
Last year was very difficult, but this year was better. We expect record potato, sugar beet, sunflower, corn, soy, and rape harvests. Things look good for grains as well: 90 million tons have already been collected and there is a good chance that this figure will be even higher. These are not just good results; this is a guarantee that we will become competitive within several years. And not just in terms of our export abilities but, just as importantly, in the development of our own livestock breeding.
The breakthrough that has been achieved in agriculture is the result of your professional and highly coordinated daily work. Those who did not give up when things got hard were the ones who achieved results. I already spoke about this, and want to say again that the government has changed its attitude toward the people working in the agriculture sector.
As you recall, the situation was different six years ago, when we just started this work, when the national project to support agriculture just begun to progress. Since then, the federal budget alone has allocated over 100 billion rubles to the sector’s development. And now, for every ruble spent by the government, ten rubles are coming from private investments. This is a very good indicator. It means that our plans are coming to fruition.
Friends, I would like to assure you that the government will continue to maintain this kind of responsible policy with regard to agriculture and those of you working in the sector.
In essence, this accounts for one third of our nation. These are the people sitting in this hall – people who are creating national wealth through their own efforts. So we must do everything to ensure that they have normal living conditions in rural areas. Today, I met with people from rural area, as I said earlier. Naturally, we are simply obligated to improve social standards. Only then will we have a chance to resolve one of the most pivotal problems faced today in agriculture: recruiting young workers. And this is an area where we must not spare any money or efforts.
Today, I would like to sincerely congratulate everyone on this holiday, and to wish good health to you and your families. I hope that everyone in this hall will feel happy tonight.
Thank you very much!
Thank you for everything!