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Speech at gala concert marking Agriculture and Processing Industry Workers’ Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,
Friends, I congratulate you on the upcoming holiday, Agriculture and Processing Industry Workers’ Day!
According to tradition, this holiday is marked in the fall, when the difficult harvest time is almost over. This year, it was literally a hot harvest in the Volga, Ural, and Siberian regions, as they suffered through the hardships of a dry summer. And overall, the weather throughout the nation was, as they say, complicated.
We all understand how difficult it is to work in such conditions. But only the agricultural workers – the grain growers, machine operators, agronomists and production organisers – know the hard price of this labour. Present here are representatives of all these professions. And each of you achieved high results. It is no exaggeration to say that your work is selfless.
Yes, this harvesting season was truly challenging. But you and your colleagues did everything to fully provide our citizens with grains, potatoes, vegetables, and provide our processing enterprises with raw materials necessary for the production of flour, sugar, oil and other essential foods.
Let me stress that the needs of the domestic market and its saturation are our absolute priorities. And the agricultural producers have succeeded in this challenge. In addition, we have reserves to strengthen our export potential.
”I want to sincerely thank all of you who often reaped the harvest without any rest, working every day conscientiously and responsibly, under huge pressure. There is a good reason why you are called the providers of Russia. This is a very warm, positive and proud title!“
I won’t cite any figures or sum up any specific results or set any particular goals at this gala event – that is the subject for a separate working meeting. Right now, I want to just sincerely thank all of you who often reaped the harvest without any rest, working every day conscientiously and responsibly, under huge pressure. There is a good reason why you are called the providers of Russia. This is a very warm, positive and proud title!
People highly appreciate your contribution to our nation’s economy, your role in ensuring our country’s food security, and they respect you for loving and taking care of the land. For centuries, we have valued the work of grain farmers and have always had a special, respectful attitude toward agricultural workers.
Naturally, as the saying goes, we cannot live off of bread alone, and it is true; but without bread, it would simply be impossible to live. And our people have always rightly said that bread is the staff of life. This has always been the case and it will always be so.
Agricultural production is certainly a strategic resource, and our work in this area is set for the long term. Supporting agricultural producers in every way possible is one of the government’s key objectives. This approach already has positive, ground-breaking results. In just the last few years, the nation’s agro-industrial complex has taken one of the top places in our economy, becoming attractive for investors and for launching new modern productions. We are developing the social infrastructure in rural areas, building housing, roads, and other important facilities. Naturally, this is still not enough, but our work is nevertheless moving forward and living standards are improving.
Of course, we still have a great deal of work ahead of us in this domain. But farmers have never been afraid of hard work. This is an area where idleness and laziness are not approved of and where people toil from dawn to dusk: in the fields, on the farms, in small homesteads and major integrated enterprises. I am certain that together, relying on the talent and constructive energy of individuals such as yourselves, we will certainly triumph, making our agriculture prosperous and successful, and our agriculture producers will be masters on the Russian food market, making our country one of the biggest food producers in the world.
Friends, the United Nations declared October 15 the International Day of Rural Women. Somehow, the UN has outpaced us on this; we ought to have done it ourselves. I am pleased to congratulate all the women working in rural areas on this holiday.
Again, I wish a happy holiday to all our agricultural workers. I wish you new successes, good fortune, and good health! And naturally, I wish you many more large, plentiful and generous harvests!
Thank you very much.